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IVI2 EXCLUSIVE! Full specifications of 1997's hottest new 64-bit game machine 


PlayStation ■ Nintendo 64 ■ Sega Saturn ■ PC CD-ROM ■ Arcade ■ M2 ■ Online 



ideo games authority 


The #1 computer 


0 09281 02585 6 ' 


2i^Vumors investigated: 

• Didt^endo heip design PlayStation? 
Has anyorffeVror died playing a videogame? 
• Was Mario o^Qinaliy a New York landlord? 

• Are one million.Atari 2600 E.T. cartridges 
buried in the New Mexico desert? 

^ • Are U.S. Marines trained on Doom? 

• Is a U.S. Senator trying to 
ban all videogames? 


(Yes, Inis is an^aeluai 
PC gniAe scleenshbt) 


Better than Quake? Unreal could be 


the best looking PC game of 1997 


And it’s coming to Nintendo 64, 


Yes, this cover image is a real screenshot from 
Epic's Unreal — a title that could quickly 
supercede Id’s Quake as the PC's hottest 3D 
game. The full exclusive story begins on page 68 


WHICH 3D ACCELERATOR SHOULD YOU BUY? Each PC 3D card played, reviewed, and rated 
































The best looking game ever? 


So how come a magazine that always values gameplay above graphics gets ail excited 
about what could be “the best looking game ever”? 


Easy. Because Unreal promises not only great visuals, but also solid multiplayer 
gameplay, a thrilling one-player adventure, and a state-of-the-art level designer (shown 
on this page) which will enable all players to easily create their own game worlds and 
levels. Unreal is a complete package, and seems destined to give Quake a run for its 
money in every department. 


But (if we’re being really honest) the real reason we’re so excited at this early stage 
of UnreaFs development is that... boy, it sure looks good. And the best-looking game 
of all time has to be considered something, even if it isn’t everything. 


The full exclusive Unreal story begins on page 68. 




February 1997 

Contact_ 

Next Generation 
Imagine Publishing, Inc. 

150 North Hill Drive 
Brisbane CA 94005 
Advertising 415.468.4684 
Editorial 415.468.4684 
(E-mail: ngonline@imagine-inc.com) 

FAX 415.468. 4686 

If you have questions about subscription, 

please contact us at: 

Customer Service 415.468.4869 
Customer Service fax 415.656.2486 
(E-mail: subscribe@imagine-inc.com 
with"Next Generation" as the subject) 

EtfitQdal_ 

Neil West editor-in-chief 
Diane Anderson managing editor 
Chris Charla features editor 
Jeff Lundrigan reviews editor 
Tom Russo assistant editor 
Mike Wilmoth senior art director 
Richard Szeto associate art director 
Colin Campbell feels the need, the need... 
Christian Svensson ...for Swede!™ 

Rick Sanchez disc editor 

Jason Michaels associate disc editor 

Editorial Contributors 

Patrick Baggatta, Jason Bates, Roger 
Burchill, Nicolas di Costanzo, Steve Frost, 
Steve Kent, Jason Montes, Douglass 
Perry, Mike Salmon, Amy Tong, Marcus 
Webb, Mike Wolf, Bernard Yee 
Photography & Artistic Contributors 
Cat Butler, Jude Edginton,Emil Yanos 



What’s next for Shigeru Miyamoto? 

So what would you do after creating the greatest videogame of all time? As Nintendo’s chief game wizard and the creator of 
Super Mario 64, Mr. Miyamoto has big plans — and he shares some of them in this exclusive interview with Next Generation 


Advertising_ 

Doug Faust advertising manager 
Aldo Ghiozzi account exec 
Kim Smith ad coordinator 
Larae Brown marketing 

Production_ 

Richard Lesovoy production director 
Mark Eastwood production coordinator 

Ima g ine Pu blishing. Inc._ 

Jonathan Simpson-Bint publisher 
Tom Hale director CD-ROM publishing 
Bruce Eldridge newsstand director 
Thea Selby newsstand manager 
Terry Lawson newsstand analyst 
Holly Klingel vp circulation 
Gail Egbert circulation consultant 
Kate Bailey circulation manager 
Jane Jarvis fulfillment coordinator 
Brian Hostetler hardware hero 




Videogame Myths 

Some videogame legends are laughable, but some are 
stranger than fiction. Find out which is which in 
Next Generation’s peek inside gaming’s mythology 


PC Goes 3D 

In NG18, Bill Gates predicted that “all the PCs that ship in 
1997” would have graphics power to rival consoles. Featured 
here are the 3D cards that may make his prediction come true 




































introducing 



News 

World Exclusive: M2 Tech Specs Revealed • Nintendo’s Shoshinkai exposition: So where’s 
Zeldal • Street Fighter 3: It’s coming, but will it be worth the wait? • Plus, all the regulars... 



Alphas: 9 games previewed 

Your chance to check out games before they’re even finished, including: Unreal, San Frandsco 
Rush, Doom 64, Gambare Goemon, and an interview with the Unreal team at Epic MegaGames 



8 talking 


What’s next for Shigeru Miyamoto? 

Nintendo’s chief game designer — and the creative 
force behind Super Mario 64 — talks about the future 


16 breaking 


News 

Gaming news from around the world, including: 

26 Arcadia (coin-op news and updates) 

28 Movers ’n’ Shakers (business news) 

30 Joyriding (online gaming news) 


41 ng special 


Videogame Myths 

There are hundreds of myths and rumors in the world 
of videogames, but which are real? An NG report 


54 ng hardware 


PC Goes 3D 

Which 3D graphics card should you buy for your PC? 


67 ng software 


Alphas 

Previewed this month: Unreal (PC CD-ROM), Son 
Frandsco Rush (Arcade), / 0th Planet (PC CD-ROM), 
Shadow Warrior (PC), AlocerThe Dark Age (Arcade), 
British Open Golf (PC), Doom 64 (N64) 


www.next-generation.com 


Next Generation Online 

It really is the best gaming web site in the business 


32 subscribing 


Save cash and time 

Honestly, subscribing is just that easy 


115 now hiring 


Do what you really want for a living? Resist growing 
up; become a professional gaming geek 


118 rating 


Finals 

The g^es you should pass on, the games you should 
give as gifts, and the ones you should keep yourself. 
Including: Killer Instinct Gold (N64); Machinehead 
(Saturn); FIFA '97 (Pls^tation); Terminator SkyNET(PC) 


149 corresponding 


Letters 

Yet more words of wisdom from our dedicated, 
argumentative, and — yes — smart readers 


151 ending 


Finals: 28 games reviewed 

Sometimes it helps to have a critic be your filter. Every month, NG reviews each and every 
major new game release, so you know which are the classics and which are the duds 


Next month... 

Next Generation #27 arrives on newsstands on 
February 11. Find out how to subscribe on page 32 


NEXT GENERATION February 1997 






























YDSHIMITSn IS A JUJITSU EXPERT. 

HE LEADS A BAIlie OF RUTHLESS THIHIES. 
HIS TITANIUM SWORD IS A LETHAL WEAPON. 


(GO AHEAD. YOU TELL HIM HE'S WEARING A GIRLIE HAT.) 



Tekken2™&©19M19^1 


! ttie Intel active Digital Softwa 


1 1996 Nanico Ltd. All rights leseived. Pla\'Slation and the PiavStation logos are 1 


The ratings icon is a1 









He’s got unblockable moves. He’s 
got a huge arsenal of 10-string 
combos and air juggles. What’s 
that mean? That means Mr. 
Yoshimitsu can wear any damn 
hat he wants. With a new-found 
ability to disappear and reappear, 
the stealthy Samurai can carve 
you a new orifice in seconds flat. 


No wondunmuq 
p feared fighters in 
L With three new figh 


odes 


Mpnimations, and more moves 
aMcombos than any game on 
Earn. Yoshimitsu believes he 
caiftefeat all 23 challengers 
bef* him. Do you have thJ 

S. 

guts*hrow your hat in the rin^ 






powered Bv 

namca 














NEXT GENERATION February 1997 


introducing 


Next Generation Disc Contents 


Those of you who purchased the Next Generation Disc Edition have 
the following goodies to look forward to... 


06 


very month, we 
publish two editions 
of Next Generation 
— one has a disc with 
it, and the other 
doesn’t If you picked 
the Disc Edition (and we pause for a 
moment of respectful awe at your 
smartness if you did), then everything 
you see on this page awaits you. If you 
didn’t buy the disc edition, well you still 
have a chance — maybe next time, eh? 

The Next Generation Disc is 



2 Mac demos 


Featuring: 

Over The Reich (Big Time), Derrat Sorcerum (Mixed 
Metaphor) 


7 PC demos 


compatible with both Mac and PC, and 
contains over 600 MB of game demos, 
previews, and movies. Some of the 
games covered are selceted by us, and 
some are provided by our sponsors: if 
you see green text outlining information 
about the game before the movie plays, 
you know it’s a game handpicked by our 
editorial teams. 

We hope you enjoy the Next 
Generation Disc, and invite your 
feedback. E-mail us at 
ugp_ng_discs@imagine-inc.com. 


Featuring: 

A Fork in the Tale (Any River), CyberGladiators (Sierra), 
MechWarrior II: Mercenaries (Activision), NeoHunter 
(Virgin), Over The Reich (Big Time), Screamer II 
(Virgin), Tomb Raider (Eidos), IMIA2 Abrams Battle 
Tank (Interactive Magic) 



Cover 


PC demos and movies 

This month’s cover game is Epic’s Unreal — a game guaranteed to excite PC gamers. Nintendo 
64 gamers should also take notice, because Epic is planning an N64 conversion 


Cover feature 


Unreal 

This looks set to be the best looking PC game we’ve 
seen — and we’ve seen a lot of PC games. Check out 
this demo, and see for yourself 


Disc-only special 


Shoshinkai report 

Featuring: 

Blast Corps, Imagineer Pro Baseball, Wonder 
Project: J2, King 64,J-League Perfea Striker, 
Super Mario Kart 64, Star Fox 64, 

St Andrew's Golf 


Internet software 


Four Internet software packages: 

America Online 3.0 

Mplayer 

The Palace Chat 

TEN:Total Entertainment Network 



PlayStation, Sega Saturn, and N64 movies 

Want to check out the b^ PlayStation. Sega Saturn, and Nintendo 64 games before they hit the 
store shelves? Then look at these exclusive movies of real, pre-release gameplay 


4 Nintendo 64 movies 


Featuring: 

Crusin’ USA, Killer Instinct Gold, 

Shadows of the Empire (3 Movies), Tumk: 
Dinosaur Hunter 


12 Sony PlayStation movies 


Featuring: 

2Xtreme, Area 51, Carnage Heart 
Contra: Legacy ofWar, MotorToon Grand Prix 
NHL FaceOff’97, Puzzle Fighter,Tecmo’s Deception, 
League of Pain, RobotronX, 

Sentient Space Jam 


5 Sega Saturn movies 


Featuring: 

3D Baseball, Amok, Daytona USA CCE, Sonic 3D Blast, 
Virtual On 




























Over 40 missions on two CD-ROMs 


PlayStation 


FOR SEGA SATURN AND SONY PLAYSTATION 


SEGA SATURN" 


Also available on COS, Winciows’, Windows ’ V5 & Macintosh' CD-ROM, 


o Irojj- of Wfei^vood Sl«dif«. Ipc. ifrlT/i. 1996 V,teitwood SAKfioi, Inc. All r ^ reief/od Sony PfayStohon and It ftajrStafion I090 are trodemoris of ! m / Computef Eni«f»o*r, 
S«))a Setm ^ Mt$iga ' otum logo are t wdaga s fa cf Seso Enf Lid Windows or.d Windows 9 ore r n g ida wd inidMMdu of hiienae CoqtoaObon . MocMoib is o i ot Af>pl»' ~ 


The ultimate strategy game 


Dozens of close-ups and action shots 


DOMINATION 
IN A DOX 










Photography by Jude Edgington 



He’s the greatest videogame designer in the worl^^ov^ a^r the magic of Super Mario 64, 
he’s taking on Zelda and “around ten” new 64-bit game^So What ape the Nintendo game chief’s 
plans? Is he still inspired? In the following world exclusive interview, Next Generation asks... 



ithout Super Mario 64 and 

W Wave Race 64, Nintendo would be 
lost. Simply, these two games are 
leaps and bounds ahead of 
everything else available for 
Nintendo 64. And what else do these 
two games have in common? They are both the work 
of Shigeru Miyamoto, Nintendo's general manager of 
product research and development and resident game 
wizard. Once again, Nintendo's future rests on the 
shoulders of just one man's genius — and once again, 
it's the same man. 

Since introducing Mario with the creation of 
Donkey Kong back in 1981, Mr. Miyamoto has been 
at the heart of Nintendo's in-house game 
development. His credits read like a NES and Super 
NES "Greatest Hits" list, including such gems as 
Super Mario Bros, Zelda, Star Fox, F-Zero, 
PilotWings, Yoshi's Island, Super Mario Kart, and — 
in collaboration with Rare — Donkey Kong Country. 
And now, as third-party Nintendo 64 game 
development stumbles, stalls, and spectacularly fails 
to match the excellence of Super Mario 64 and 
Wave Race 64 Nintendo needs Shigeru Miyamoto 
more than ever. 

So how is he feeling about Nintendo 64's future? 
What does he think of Nintendo 64's games so far, and 
what gaming greatness do we have to look forward to? 
Next Generation met with Mr. Miyamoto at Nintendo's 








NEXT GENERATION February 1997 


talki 


November Shoshinkai exposition, for the following 
world exclusive interview: 

Early days... 

NG: So what was the purpose of this year's Shoshinkai 
exposition? 

Mr. Miyamoto: This time we wanted to emphasize the 
hardware power of the base Nintendo 64 — and this is 
why I am not allowed to answer many questions 
concerning Zelda or DD64. We wanted to show that the 
cartridge market is strong, and that Nintendo is 
committed to building a strong cartridge market. 


NG: How well has has been achieved so far? 

Mr. Miyamoto: I think we are still on the way to 
achieving this in Japan. We'll need one year — maybe a 
year and a half — after the launch of the Nintendo 64 
hardware in Japan to achieve some of our launch 
goals. Certainly, by the end of next year we are hoping 
to have a wide variety of cartridge software for N64. 
NG: Do you think that the games released so far have 
proved that cartridges are capable of delivering the 
gaming experiences people want? 

Mr. Miyamoto: I think we have completed enough 
software to prove that cartridges are a viable and 


“I believe that within the next year we will introduce a 
game on a 128 MBit cartridge, but in two years I have no 
idea what will be possible at an affordable price” 




important media. But unfortunately, most Japanese 
users don't see it this way — they see that CD-ROMs 
are a current trend and they feel that cartridges are in 
some ways obsolete. 

But when it comes to the software content, we have 
achieved a lot to prove that there is still life on 
cartridges — we just haven't persuaded a lot of the 
Japanese consumers yet! 

NG: Most cartridges for Nintendo 64 have been 64 
M Bit, but already a 96 M Bit cart has been introduced 
for SMK64. How big are N64 cartridges going to get? 
Mr. Miyamoto: That's a good point. It's worth 
remembering that when Nintendo introduced the disk 
drive system for the NES in the 1980s, it was 
unthinkable that ROM cartridges could become so 
cheap. Even now, they are becoming cheaper than we 
were expecting them to be. I believe that within the next 
year we will introduce a game on a 128 MBit 
cartridge, but in two years 1 have no idea what will be 
possible at an affordable price. 

NG: One of the great things about Nintendo 64's lack 
of a CD-ROM drive is that musicians can't be lazy and 
simply spool a pre-recorded soundtrack off CD. 

Instead, they have to store sounds and scores 
electronically — using Nintendo 64's sound chips — 
and and this means that the music can respond 
immediately to what is happening in the game. It is 
almost "interactive" music. 

A great example is the dire dire docks level of 
SM64, in which the music immediately ups in pace 
when Mario reaches the far bank of the lake. How 
important is this "interactive music" to games? 

Mr. Miyamoto: Many people want high quality music, 
say with a full orchestra sound or something. But I am 
demanding our sound staff not to seek for the quantity 
of the music data, but rather they should seek for 
interactivity in their compositions for videogames. 
Instead of seeking to increase the quantity of music, we 
should try to make the most of its quality. Without CD, 
musicians may be disappointed with the quantity and 
range of data that they can use, but over time I think 
they will learn to appreciate that less can be more. 

They should brush-up their skills in producing 
interactive music, and eventually technology will allow 
this type of sound composition to match today's pre¬ 
recorded music. 


: Generation OnUne, hnp://www.ne»t generalion.c 



talki 



Analyzing Super Mario 64 

NG: What lessons can be learned from Super Mario 64 
about making games in 3D? 

Mr. Miyamoto: I think that basically the point that we 
were focusing on with SM64 — and this may or may 
not be a lesson to others — is that in the past, 3D 
games have been developed selfishly by the creators. 

We came at SM64 from the other side and tried to 
cater to the selfishness of the users and their desire for 
control, a good game camera, and ease of play. This was 
not a lesson for us, because we have known that this 
was the best way to do it since we first started 
experimenting with 3D using the FX chip for the Super 
NES. So the SM64 project was more of a reminder to 
us, and it reconfirmed that as with all games, you have 
to cater to the users' desires. 

Also, we learned a lot while making SM64 about 
the potential of the Nintendo 64 hardware itself. And 
while making the game, I discovered many points about 
the game's 3D engine that could be modified or 
improved. We didn't have time to implement these 


SM64, 

but now, as we start work 
on the next games — 
Zelda, for example — we 
can complete a tune-up of 
the SM64 system, and 
games like F-Zero can be 
a completely new version. 
NG: You said before that 
Super Mario 64 used 60% of N64's potential, how 
much does a new game like Star Fox 64 use? 

Mr. Miyamoto: Between 70% and 80%. 

NG: When will we see one employ 100% of its power? 
Mr. Miyamoto: Probably when Nintendo's next 
hardware system turns up [smiles]. 

NG: What feedback have you had from gamers about 
Super Mario 64, and were you surprised 
by anything that they had to say? 


'i have noticed a lot of kindergarten kids are 
better than I am at playing Super Mario 64 — 
so it seems to appeal to the younger audience” 


Mr. Miyamoto: I have received so many fan letters — 
including many letters from first-graders at elementary 
school — that claim that they have already collected 
120 stars. I have noticed that a lot of kindergarten kids 
are better than I am at playing Super Mario 64 — so 
it seems that it has appealed well to the younger 


111 


Next Generation OnUne. http://www.next generation.com/ 


NEXT GENERATION February 1997 





NEXT GENERATION February 1997 


talki 


audience of game players. 

NG: Super Mario 64 features many game elements — 
such as the large emphasis on exploration — that seem 
more like a Zelda game than a traditional Mario game. 
Does this mean we can expect Zelda 64 to resemble 
Mario, or will it take a new direction? 

Mr. Miyamoto: In the 1980s when we started on the 
original Zelda and Super Mario Bros, we had the same 
kind of concepts for each game — so it's no wonder 
that the two series are converging and that Super 
Mario 64 approaches the Zelda concept. But in fact we 

“The DD64 add-on will expand the power to 
create new and unique games two times 
beyond what is possible with cartridge” 

have a lot further still to go with the concept, so you 
will still see a lot of different things with Zelda. 

Even though the two games' underlying structures 
are approaching each other, emotionally I think that 
people will have different experiences with the two 
games. With Zelda, you are supposed to be a certain 


age at certain year in the past, and you are put into 
certain situations — and you will feel, or even "smell 
some air" and feel how “warm" or "cold" it is in the 
Zelda world. It will feel like a very different game. 

NG: Are there any secrets in Super Mario 64 that no 
one has discovered yet? 

Mr. Miyamoto: [Smiles] I don't think so. 

NG: Come on... 

Mr. Miyamoto: CSmiles] Maybe, the penguin can be a 
little fatter... 

Giving it some (analog) stick 

NG: What feedback have you had from gamers about 
Nintendo 64's analog joypad? 

Mr. Miyamoto: I think that generally it has been 
accepted with open hands. Sure, some 
people don't like it. But I think that most people agree 
that once you get used to it, it's impossible to go back 
to playing this type of game without a 3D joystick. 

NG: Do you think most gamers have been able to 
change their playing habits? With a game like 
WaveRace, have you found that most gamers use the 
analog pad properly — pressing it halfway for a gentle 
turn, for example — or are most experienced gamers 
still making the "tap, tap, tap" turns that were required 


12 



with a traditional eight-way joypad? 

Mr. Miyamoto: I think it's easy to get accustomed to 
the analog pad, and most people master it after about 
two hours of playing. But, of course, it's another 
question altogether as to whether or not gamers will 
accept it in the long term. 

When we first introduced the 8-bit Famicom into 
Japan in the 1980s everybody had been accustomed to 
using a joystick, and many people complained about 
the new joypad. They got used to it, though. 

NG: Are you surprised that following the launch of 
N64, Sega and Sony launched their own analog pads? 
Mr. Miyamoto: No, I was not surprised because I 
thought that if we introduced something, many other 
people would imitate us. 

NG: The next big innovation from Nintendo will be the 
DD64 disk drive add-on. You say that it will help 
because it will make games cheaper, but what plans do 
you have to exploit the system's writeable drive? 

Mr. Miyamoto: I think that the power or ability to 
create a new and unique game will be expanded two 
times beyond what is possible with cartridge. 

We have a lot of original and unique game ideas but 
we have not been able realize them because there is no 
writeable medium. 


Where no game designer has gone 
before... 

NG: What are you working on at the moment? 

Mr. Miyamoto: [Laughs] Now I'm working for the PR 
department! 

My job has three main parts. First, there is my 
normal job which is as a game producer working 
closely with the game directors of four of five different 
games. But this is always the case with me, I always 
seem to be working on four of five games at any one 
time. Second, I work with producers working for other 
companies — so I am supervising the development of 
around ten third-party games. Third, I am involved with 

(continued on page 1431 




gilt VVariord^ ii’ol'^Dibjl'5 
to Shape Driver FrfJjii 


This official seal is your 
1^1^ ' assurance that this product 

meets^he highest quality 

M 'l standaA^ SEGA.™ Buy 
J games ahd accessories with 
|jy —this seal td|^^ure that they 
Ety are com[MnBle with the 

SEGA Satiim* System. 


hj^'yj 


tVED. Dragon Force is a trademark of SEGA Enterprises, LTD. Original Game © SEGA Enterprises, 
5-3417. Call 1 -800-771 -3772 forJjifojjutfMI^ Game Ratings. 


SEGA AND SEGA SATURN ARE TRADEMARKS Of SEGA EN] 
LTD. 1996. English Translation © Working Designs ^te6. SchIM 





















RRfni 


STREHGTH 


"One of the most innova¬ 
tive games ever created" 
- GAMEFAN 


"MDK promises 3-D 
technology so cool and 
action so...realistic that 
it will send everything 
else running for cover." 

-PC GAMER 



PC CD-ROM 

Created by Shiny Entertainment, Inc. © 1996 Shiny Entertainment, Inc. MDK is a trademark of Shiny Entertainment. Inc. All rights 
reserved. Artwork and design © 1996 Playmates Interactive Entertainment Inc. PIE™ is a registered trademark of Playmates Interactive 
Entertainment Inc. All rights resenred. PlayStation and the PlayStation logos are trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. 


<S ^ 








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NEXT GENERATION February 1997 



M2: The low-down on the new machine from Matsushita • Shoshanki: A report from Tokyo’s Nintendo tradeshow 
• Movers and Shakers: Industry news and analysis • Joyriding: Surfing your way to better gaming • Arcadia: News 
from the land of arcades • Street Fighter III: The inside scoop 


All the videogame news that's fit to print 


World exclusive: 


I 



It’s impressive — 
on paper. But can 
Matsushita really 
take on PlayStation 
and Nintendo 64? 
The world awaits... 


IVI2 specs revealed 


Qi 


I espite M2’s absence from the 
recent, and rather low-key, 
Tokyo E3 show (taking place 
concurrently with the PiayStation 
Expo), where Panasonic initially 
planned to reveal its M2 technology. 


Panasonic chose not to unveil M2 at recent trade shows 
(right). The console Is rumored to be aesthetically similar 
to this prototype (above) 


The polygon 
engine itself 
can process 
over one 
million 
polygons per 
second 


issue that has apparently been holding 
back the announcement of any launch 
by the division responsible for the 
console’s development, Panasonic 
Wondertainment. 

In addition. Next Generation has 
uncovered details of the way that the 
much vaunted, souped-up M2 graphics 
engine works — previously the subject 
of much idle speculation. It now 
appears that Matsushita’s machine 
utilizes one Power PC for calculating 
geometry while the second is used for 
ordinary game code. 

The polygon engine itself can 

process over one million polygons per 
second, but it’s expected that M2 will 
be able to display around 500,(XX) 


Next Generation has 
uncovered further facts 
concerning the 64-bit 
console (it will go by a 
different name when it is unveiled to 
the Japanese press) to be launched by 
Matsushita in the first half of this year. 

As previously understood, the 
console will include two Power PC602 
chips (each delivering over 70 MIPS), 
although Next Generation has 
discovered that SMB of unified RAM 
will be included as well as a 4X CD 
drive. DVD compatibility will not be 
exploited until Matsushita’s more 
grandiose consumer electronics plans 
for the technology are clearer — the 


polygons per second with texturing and 
lighting effects applied (while no 
benchmark polygon size exists for 
comparison, few PlayStation games 
exceed 120,000 polygons/sec). 

M2 will also be able to map MPEG 
footage onto polygons as a texture. 

In design terms, Matsushita’s 
console is expected to be a top-loading 
device, slightly smaller and thinner 
than Sega’s Saturn and with a front¬ 
loading memory card slot positioned in 
the center (cards will start at a 


M2 Technical 
Specifications 

• CPU:2xPowerPC602e 
66MHz 

• Video Engine: 320x240 - 
640x480, full color 

• Audio DSP: 16-bit DSP 
O 66MHz 

• Quad speed CD-ROM 

• BDA (custom graphics 
ASIC) handles memory 
control, system control and 
video/graphic control. 
Includes set-up engine, 
triangle engine, MPEG 
decoder, DSP for audio and 
different kind of DMA 
control and port control. 
Random access of frame 
Buffer and z-buffer 
possible at the same time. 

• CDE (Custom ASIC): 
Includes a power-bus which 
is connected the BDA and 
the CPU.The 'bio-bus' is 
used as a low-speed bus for 
peripheral hardware. 

• Memory: unified memory 
system of 8Mb SDRAM 
(64bit bus) • 500 Mb/sec, 
average access greater 
than 400Mb/per second. 

• Shading: flat and 
Gouraud 

• Texture mapping: decal, 
modulation blending, tiling 
(16KA28K texture buffer 
built-in) 

• Filtering: linear, bi-linear, 
tri-linear, mipmap, LOD, 3D 
perspective. 

• Hardware buffer (16-bit) 

• Alpha Channel (4- or 7- 
bit) 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generatlon.com/ 

















breaking 


It now 

appears that 
IVI2 utilizes 
one Power 
PC 603 for 
caicuiating 
geometry 
whiie the 
second is 
used for 
ordinary 
game code 


standard 128K but could theoretically 
reach 32 MB). The console’s controller 
will have six main buttons and also two 
shoulder buttons like the Saturn’s pad. 
On the left part of the controller, the 
player can use a regular directional 
cross-pad which, strangely enough, is 
surrounded by a rotating analogue, jog- 
shuttle-type wheel. In addition, a 
separate analogue Joystick is included. 

MdtSUShitS’S console will 
feature a standard PCMCIA slot to 
enable connection to planned 
peripherals such as a modem and DVD 
player, although the machine will 
initially be marketed as a straight 
game machine, mirroring Sony’s 
efforts. Contrary to previous plans 
(and likely to cause upset with many 
3D0 disciples), is the news that there 
will be no compatibility with the aging 
3D0 technology — apparently because 
of the inclusion of the 4X drive. 

Software is perhaps the most 
ambiguous area. While Panasonic 



m3?%raphic engine 

M2 OPERATING SYSTEI^^^ 
OPERATING tOOLS 




V 

TRIANGLE 

SET-UP 

ENGINE 



CPU 


At the heart of Matsushita’s M2 technolo^ are two PowerPC CPUs and 
the formidable graphics chip, here referred to as the BDA (center). This is 
a custom ASIC and comprises the set-up engine, triangle engine, MPEG 
decoder as well m a DSP for audio and DMA controls 



Wondertainment is developing over 
10 software titles internally in Japan, 
development work was recently 
slowed on M2 titles within The 3D0 
Company’s U.S. offices — allegedly 
because Acclaim was working on 
these as M2 arcade titles and when 
delays started snowballing for the 
M2 launch, it ported its resources to 
the PlayStation. Panasonic should 
provide around 10 M2 titles at 
launch, although the only known 
companies with third-party contracts 
are Warp (which recently revealed 
the first M2 game, D2), Konami, and 
Capcom (which is working on a 3D 
fighting game). By the beginning of 
next year it is expected that a few 
other M2 developers will be officially 
introduced, and a complete software 
lineup planned for a possible late 
spring launch. 

Capcom and Konami have arcade 
interests, but there’s no link 
between the technology in M2 and 
that powering these companies’ new 
arcade boards — in fact, no arcade 
games using the M2 technology have 
yet been shown. Naturally, 
differences between the technology 
planned for the console and the 
arcade exist — in this case there is 
more RAM on the arcade 
motherboard, and cartridges will be 
used as a coin-op storage medium 
instead of CDs. 

Industry sources say that 
with the M2 hardware now finished 
and software development 
continuing, Matsushita’s plans for 
the technology to form the hub of a 
consumer electronics range could 
be the only obstacle to a roll- 
out in the coming months. LLjj 


What is it? 

It cost $5 million, 
weighed almost a ton, 
was remarkable for its 
vector calculations, and 
needed liquid freon to 
keep it cool. Only 85 
were ever sold — but it 
quickly became a 
household name 


i 


Impressed? 

Two years ago, M2 and 
Nintendo 64 were the 
hottest pieces of 
vaporware on the planet. 
The prospect of Matsushita 
(the largest consumer 
electronics company in the 
world) joining the 
videogame industry got 
pulses racing, and The 3D0 
Company’s 64-bit Power 
PC hardware seemed solid. 

But now, with Sony and 
Nintendo racing ahead, M2 
faiis to excite. Feedback 
from third parties 
(including some very close 
to Matsushita) indicate 
that the final M2 game box 
is — in practice — no 
more powerful than 
Nintendo 64, and 
Matsushita seems to have 
an ambivalent attitude 
towards its creative talent. 

In short, while keeping 
an open mind. Next 
Generation isn’t holding its 
breath until M2 takes the 
videogame world by storm. 




Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-6eneration.cotn/ 


NEXT GENERATION February 1997 






















NEXT GENERATION February 1997 


breaking 


Shoshinkai ’97: Nintendo 


Waving or 
drowning? Nintendo 
refuses to highlight 
Zelda or 64DD - 


gets in the games 





It is... 

The Cray I 

supercomputer, famous 
for its horseshoe-shaped 
design. Appearing in 
1976, it was the 
brainchild of Seymour 
Cray, who left Control 
Data to form his own 
company in 1972 


insisting that carts 
are alright 


Shigeru Miyamoto (above, 
left) is increasingly 
becoming Nintendo’s 


Nintendo 64. Dashing 


modern day Willy Wonka 


64DD was 
demonstrated 
by mapping 
photographs 
of attendees 
onto the 
sides of 
rotating 
cubes, 

displaying the 
results on 
giant screens 


□ intendo 64’s future became a 
little clearer at the 8th annual 
Shoshinkai Exhibition in 
Tokyo, where 47 software titles were 
confirmed for the Japanese market. 
But — although present — 64DD, 
Nintendo’s long-awaited mass-storage 
device, was kept out of the spotlight, 
and Zelda 64 was confined to just a 
few seconds of videotape footage. 

Although the event, held from 
November 22 to 24 at Makuhari Messe, 
was Judged by many to be disappointing 
— chiefly because key title Zelda 64 
failed to make an appearance in 
playable form — promise for the future 
came from other titles, not least of 
which were playable versions of Mario 
Kart 64 and Starfox 64. 

The 64DD drew the most 

attention, though, with Nintendo’s 
sleek new peripheral taking pride of 
place — from within the confines of a 
glass box, naturally — on its typically 
substantial stand. Without game 
software to accompany it, however, it 
was left to a demo custom-coded for 
the event to attempt to hint at the 
drive’s capabilities. It did this by 
mapping photographs of attendees 
onto the sides of rotating cubes, 
displaying the results on giant screens 
— a small taster of the unit’s potential 
(especially for those showgoers eager 
— or sad — enough 
to wait around and 
catch their own 
visages being 
thrown around on¬ 
screen), but hardly 
the glorious demo 
that many were 
rightfully expecting. 

Instead, Zelda 
64 was, like many 
other games 


(including the gorgeous-looking Yoshi’s 
Island 2 and Mother 3), shown only 
briefly on video. Though still in its 
infancy, the evidence was nevertheless 
promising, with L/nk's polygonal world 
appearing unsurprisingly similar to that 
of Super Mario 64, and featuring real¬ 
time combat sequences that looked 
extremely promising. 

Comprehensively aware 

of criticisms leveled at its modular 
approach to hardware design and its 
choice of storage format in the face of 
continued dependence on CD from its 
rivals, Nintendo dedicated the 
afternoon of the exhibition’s press day 
to a panel-style discussion session 
which, among other aims, attempted 
to defend its current cartridge-based 
software strategy and outlined the 

benefits and potential of 
the 64DD system. 

Super Mario 64 
producer Shigeru 
Miyamoto and hand¬ 
picked Nintendo cohorts 
(including reps from 
Konami, Seta, and 
Imagineer) took center 
stage to chew over 
various Nintendo 64- 


Next Generation OnUne, hnp://www.next.generation.com/ 












breaking 



The traditional Japanese 
tradition of guys In business 
suits and gals looking cute 
prevailed at Shoshinkal — 
the kids, however, had the 
best time of everyone 


related topics in 
front of a packed 
audience. 

Konami’s J- 
League Perfect 
Striker Yias cited 
as one exampie of 
silicon’s superiority 
as a storage 
medium, with 
deiegates claiming its spectacular 
surfeit of animation — which beats its 
existing 32-bit peers by a considerable 
margin — to be impossibie on an 
opticai storage-driven system. “We’re 
here to show that the cartridge market 
is strong,” confessed Mr. Miyamoto in 
an exciusive interview with NG (page 
8). And iargely, this goai was achieved. 




The 64DD issue was 

tackled with a spiei concerning its 
capacity (64 megabytes, up to 32 of 
which are avaiiabie for writing to during 
piay), swift access times, and flexible 
architecture which ieaves Nintendo 
64’s cartridge slot free for cartridge- 
and-64DD game packages (which, 
incidentally, is the format Zelda 64 is 
rumored to adopt). 
Having recently 
dubbed Nintendo 64 
“The Evolving Video 
Game Machine” in its 
officiai press 
material, Nintendo 
has obviously 
invested heaviiy in 
iaying foundations for 
the future of its 
premier format. 

The traditional 
address from NCL 


Nintendo was keen to stress the fact that cartridge games can and are 
exciting — and employed many methods of getting the message accross 


the discussion session was a PR- 
oriented affair. The dedicated host 
posing undoubtediy predetermined 
questions to an expectant panei was a 
fairly transiucent arrangement, but the 
points made were nevertheless 
thought-provoking and underlined 
Nintendo’s undying commitment to its 
agenda — whether it flies in the face 
of commoniy regarded sense or not. 

Ironicaily, Nintendo’s consideration 
for gamepiay over any other videogame 
aspect was countered by the iackiuster 
nature of a significant number of tities 
revealed to an expectant audience 
eisewhere in the haii. 

Severai games, inciuding Blade and 
Barrel, Doraemon, and St Andrews, 
proved that no matter how powerfui 
the silicon that sits beneath the 
software may be, unspectacuiar N64 
product remains a very reai possibiiity. 

There’s no doubt that the third- 
party software on which Nintendo has 
purposefuily retained a short leash 
remains among Nintendo 64’s most 
promising tities for 1997. Yet a number 
of games, on the evidence of their 
showing at Shoshinkai at least, could 
further damage the machine’s 
reputation as a triple-A platform 
following the disappointment of U.S.- 
deveioped titles such as Mortal 
Kombat Trilogy and Cruis'n USA. 

Mario Kart 64wasthe 

undoubted star of the show in software 
terms. It lured hundreds of showgoers 
to patiently line up (iines snaked back 
from the many demonstration Nintendo 
64 units greeting visitors upon entering 
the Messe’s cavernous interior). 

Carrying over the flavor of the 
Super NES title with ample style, the 
64-bit update retains the originai’s 
siippy-siidey feei but adds countless 
new gamepiay traits to offer an 
experience that wiil comfort yet 
refresh Nintendo devotees of old. 

Starfox 64, meanwhile, broke new 
ground with its extravagant graphics, 
which surpass anything ever seen in 
home videogames. Stuffed with 
eiaborate real-time cut-scenes, the 
game — which NCL has deveioped 
soieiy in-house, without the assistance 
of U.K.-based Argonaut Software, the 
coders of the Super FX-driven SNES 
originai — iike Mario Kart 64, retains 
much of its forebear’s gamepiay traits 
whiie expanding upon them 
significantiy, most notabiy with a iand- 
based tank combat mode. 

Apart from being the most visuaily 
impressive titie on dispiay, the game 
aiso debuted Nintendo’s iatest 
hardware development, the “Jolting 
Pack.” This peripherai plugs into 


STOP 


Sony Prepares White 
PlayStation 

Sony will launch a new 
“white" PlayStation this 
coming February in the 
Asian Tiger nations of 
Taiwan, South Korea, 
and Singapore. 

, Although entirely 
PlayStation compatible, 
the new white machine 
has the ability to play 
MPEG CDs. The market 
for MPEG movies is so 
massive in some Asian 
countries that Sony 
feels that it can no 
longer ignore this 
crucial sector. MPEG 
discs can contain 
feature films, Anime, 
and (as often as not) 
pornography. 

No price-point has 
been mentioned 
although we understand 
Sony is looking at an 
equivalent if $279. The 
machine will also 
incorporate extra chip- 
based security 
measures which will 
attempt to lock-out 
pirated games — a 
problem which is still 
rife in some Far 
Eastern countries. 

We say Yarouze, Sony 
says Yaroze 
Following NG's 
exclusive unveiling of 
Sony’s “Make your own 
PlayStation games” 
initiative last month, 
Sony has changed the 
name of the program 
from Yarouze to Yaroze. 
Why? "It’s kinda easy 
that way," offered a 
Sony spokesperson. 

Paradigm gets serious 
Paradigm, the military 
simulation company 
responsible for the 
technology behind 
PilotWings 64 has 
formed a new 
videogames division. 
Paradigm Entertainment 
will concentrate on 
“creating leading edge 
3D game content and 
tools for the 
entertainment 
industry." 


19 


Next a«neratlon OnUna, http://www.next.generation.com/ 


NEXT GENERATION February 1997 













NEXT GENERATION February 1997 


breaking 


64DD Specs 

Size: 

Weight: 

Memory capacity: 

Sustained data transfer rate: 
Seek time: 

Motor driving time: 
Misceiianeous: 

Media: 


Drive 260mm(w)xl90mm(d)x78.7mm(h) 
Disk 101mm(w)xl30mm(d)xl0.2mm(h) 
Drive 1.6kg 
Disk 43g 
64 megabytes (approx.) 
81 for 64 megabytes (approx.) 
typicaily 75ms (approx.) 
iess than 1.9 seconds 
data correction feature included as standard 
high-density, double-sided magnetic disk 



64DD appeared — but only in 
a sealed glass case 



Games of the show (top to 
bottom): Zelda 64, Starfox 
64, Wild Choppera, Mario 
Kart 64, Yoshl’s Island 2 


Nintendo 64 controller’s expansion port 
(previously believed to exist merely for 
the insertion of memory cards) and 
generates vibrating sensations in 
correspondence with on-screen action 
(the player’s ship or vehicle taking a 
hit, for example). 

A low-end equivalent to the kind of 
experience offered by coinop driving 
games such as Sega Rally, the addon 
was seen as merely another whimsical 
Nintendo fancy destined to the bin 
marked Good Idea at the Time. Rare 
(the company responsible for Killer 
Instinct Gold) showed Blastdozer, the 
only other title to make use of the 
wobbly peripheral. The game proved 
to be a quite lackadaisical playing 
experience, despite its obvious 
graphical strength. 

Of the third-party games 

that showed promise — whether shown 
on videotape or otherwise — Next 
Generation is most eager for Konami’s 
Goemon 64 (which, though shown only 
in prerendered footage format, should 
carry the quality hallmarks its 
developers are famed for), Enix’s Go! 
Go! Trouble Makers (an unashamedly 
16-bit-styled platform game with 
gorgeously over-the-top 64-bit touches 
from acclaimed codeshop Treasure), 
and Acclaim’s Turok: Dinosaur Hunter 
(whose selection of wondrous forms of 
firepower are breathtaking). 

Behind the fanfare of 64-bit 
software lay a clutch of SNES 
cartridges, with Nintendo’s SAl- 
powered, Satellaview-compatible Bass 
Fishing No.l ioining Capcom’s Street 
Fighter Alpha 2, Hudson’s Super 
Bomberman 5, and Enix’s Dragon 
Quest 3 in an effort to keep the 16-bit 
fires burning. The Game Boy’s 
continued popularity in Japan was 
confirmed by the arrival of several new 
carts, including Nintendo’s second 
Gallery game, resurrecting four more 
Game & Watch titles. 

Though Nintendo expended a lot of 
energy hammering home a message of 
reassurance to Nintendo 64 devotees, 
there were numerous disappointments 
which left showgoers feeling 



shortchanged. The 64DD’s 
appearance in the flesh made the 
event worthwhile for some, but the 
absence of a truck-load of games to 
measure up to Mario 64's brilliance — 
whether delivered on silicon or 
otherwise — is a point that Nintendo 
cannot ignore, and must take 
measures to rectify if the Nintendo 64 
is to maintain the strength 
that it showed at launch. IJL^ 



Nintendo executives 
dutifully discuss the 
benefits of cartridges 


NCL’s N64 software line-up 


Game 

Publisher 

Blastdortr 

Nintendo 

GoldtnErt 007 

Nintendo 

Kirby's Air Rldt 

Nintendo 

Mario Kart 64 

Nintendo 

Mothers 

Nintendo 

Starfox 64 

Nintendo 

Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire 

Nintendo 

The Great Emperor of Jungle 

Nintendo 

Yoshl’s Island 64 

Nintendo 

Turok: Dinosaur Hunter 

Acclaim Japan 

Virtual Pro Wrestling 

Asmik 

Pro Mah Jong KIwame 64 

Athena 

Pro Baseball King 

Imagineer 

Holy Magic Century Eltale 

Imagineer 

J-League Dynamite Soccer 64 

Imagineer 

Go! Go! Trouble Makers 

Enix 

Wonder Project J2 

Enix 

Doraemon (working title) 

Epoch 

J-League Lhe 64 

EA Victor 

Hexen 

Game Bank 

Blade and Barrel 

Kotobuki System 

Mah Jong 64 (working title) 

Koel 

Goemon 64 

Konami 

Powerful Pro Baseball 4 

Konami 

Mah Jong Master 

Konami 

J-League Perfect Striker 

Konami 

Rev Limit 

Seta 

Wild Choppers 

Seta 

Super Real Island 

Seta 

St. Andrews 

Seta 

Like Thunder 'GO' 

Seta 

Morlta’s ShogI 64 (working title) 

Seta 

SOFMacrotf (working title) 

Tomy 

Cavalry Battle 3000 

Japan System Supp 

Chameleon Twist 

Japan System Supp 

Power League 64 (working title) 

Hudson Soft 

Dual Heroes 

Hudson Soft 

Pro Wrestling Game (working title) 

Hudson Soft 

Hew Bomberman 

Hudson Soft 

Hew Hagane (working title) 

Hudson Soft 

Super Robot Spirits 

Banpresto 

Mission Impossible 

Victor Interactive 

Sonic Wings Assault 

Video System 

Mah Jong (working title) 

Video System 


Human Grand Prix Human 


Release (Japan) 

March '97 

TBA 

TBA 

Out now 

TBA 

March '97 
TBA 

Spring '98 
TBA 

March ‘97 
February '97 
January '97 
Out now 
April '97 
February '97 
March '97 
Out now 
March '97 
Out now 
January '97 
Out now 
TBA 
TBA 
TBA 
TBA 
TBA 

February '97 

January '97 

May '97 

Out now 

January '97 

May '97 

May '97 

November '97 

November /E97 

TBA 

TBA 

TBA 

TBA 

TBA 

'97 

April '97 
TBA 
TBA 
Out now 
May '97 


20 


. 64 Sumo (working title) 

Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-^eneration.com/ 


Bottom Up 

















Most people 
enjoy the 
inferiority^. 

of their 
best friends. 

— Lord Chesterfield 


Compete head-to-head. Siirrender nothing. 

The Microsoft Sidewinder” game pad makes it a fair fight 
for you and up to three of yovir best friends. Hook up to 
any of your Windows 95-based games and all four (or three, 
or two) of you get the same fXilly ffinctional, lightning- 
fast game control and multibutton maneuvers. So no matter 
how many are plugged in, the competition’s still quick 
and exciting. It’s a perfect fit for hands of all sizes, 
letting you keep a solid grip and making it easier to use 
any of the buttons or triggers to vanquish your opponents. 
Record complicated, hard-to-remember multibutton moves and 
map them to a single button for swift execution of lethal 
maneuvers. Remember, the more Sidewinder game pads you 
own, the more friends you can take advantage of. A little 
friendly competition never hurt anyone, right? 


Microsoft 

Where do you want to go today?” www.microsoft.com/sidewinder/ 


61996 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Microsoft. Where do you want to go today? and Windows are registered trademarks and Sidewinder is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation. 




WE FINALLY MADE A WORKSTATION 


just like 


We finally made a workstation just 
as practical, reliable, and affordable 
as everyone else’s. 

With one minor 
exception: it’s better. 

Introducing 02™. The 
only workstation that 
can combine industry¬ 
leading CPU and 


everyone else’s. 


02 Desktop Workstation 
$7,495 

MIPS R5000 180MHz processor 
32>bit double-buffered graphics 
Hardware texture mapping 
Image processing engine 
Video compression engine 
Web-integrated user environment 
64MB ECC SDRAM 
2GB SCSI system disk 
i7'‘ monitor, i280x1024 
iOOBaseTX/iOBaseT Ethernet 
CD-ROM 



_ SiliconGraphics' 

Computer Systems 


graphics performance with 
breakthrough video and 
imaging capabilities. Why? 
Because 02 is the only work¬ 
station based on an innovative 
Unified Memory Architecture. 
02 comes standard with the MIPS® R5000~ 
chip, and is also available with the much 
more powerful MIPS® RIOOOO™ CPU. Best 
of all, 02 is designed to be an extrovert. 


Every 02 machine comes standard with 
a full set of web-authoring tools as well as 
a personal web server. So as soon as 
you plug it in, you can communicate 
your ideas to anyone, anywhere, on any 
computer. If you want the performance of 
a workstation combined with the power of 
the web, look for 02. It isn’t hard to find. 
For more information, visit our Web site 
or call 800.636.8184 Dept. LS0055. 


www.sgi.com/02 

O 1996 Silicon Graphics, IncAUrighareso-nd. Silicon Graphics and the Silicon Graphics logo are registered trademarics, 02, and See what's possible are trademarlts. 
of Silicon Graphics, Int MIPS and the MIPS RISC Certified Power logo are registered trademartaand RIOOOO and R5000 are trademarta. of MIPS Technologies, Inc. 


w 


See what’s possible 









breaking 


2D or not 2D? Capcom 






Capcom’s long- 
anticipated sequel 
shuns polygons for 
state-of-the-art 2D 
gameplay. But will 
U.S. gamers get it? 


Noritaka Funamlzu, 
General Producer of 
Capcom’s Development 
Division Is ultimately In 
charge of the SFIII project 


answers with SFIII 


New characters 

Ken and Ryu are the only 
SFD charcaters to make it 
to Snn They are joined by 
the following new brawlers: 

• Ibuki: A Japanese female 
ninja of classic martial arts 

• Elena: A black female 
master of the Brazillian 
martial art capoeira (she 
just uses her long legs) 

• Necro: Created in a lab, 
this zombie/cyborg is made 
of rubber, has extendable 
limbs and "electricar 
special moves 

• Oro: A hermit dressed in 
rags, Oro boasts 
considerable psychic 
powers and martial arts 

• Alex: A big, slow, blonde, 
American wrestler with a 
few, limited martial arts 
moves 

• Dudley: A black English 
boxer (who wears a 
tuxedo) 

• Yun: A fast, young 
Chinese (complete with 
backwards baseball cap) 
master of karate 

• Sean: An American 
Ryu/Ken clone 


Japanese fans of the SF series will doubtless welcome another 2D title, 
but will westerners be so enthusiastic? Unfortunately, K’s doubtful 


Fighter 11,” explains Mr. Funamizu. 

Indeed, the new graphical 
approach, which creates movement 
sequences more akin to a high-quality 
Japanese animated movie than a 
videogame, uses a breathtaking 
amount of detail in its bitmapped 
images — even showing fighters’ 
muscles ripple beneath their skin 
during attacks. It’s a result of 
Capcom’s new 32-bit CPS3 hardware, 
and importantly, the excessive 
animation doesn’t appear to hamper 
the speed of the game, with early 
demos looking as quick as the 


The early Street FIgMer III demo was 
shown to a few Journalists at Capcom’s 
development HQ In Osaka, Jigian 


will tell. 


fastest play modes of previous Street 
Fighter games. 

But why the decision to stick with 
2D? “We feel that 3D is not really 
suitable for the head-to-head fighting 
of beat ’em up games," explains Mr. 
Funamizu, “and, to be frank, Capcom 
doesn’t really have the techniques to 
display high quality graphics in 3D.” 

While Next Generation applauds 
Capcom stressing gameplay over 
fancy 3D technology, we worry that 
mainstream U.S. game players may 
not embrace it. Has Virtue Fighter 
changed the 
gaming land¬ 
scape for ever? 


apcom has officially unveiled 
its long-awaited Street Fighter 
into audiences in Japan. In a 
television special, the game was 
presented alongside several other key 
Capcom releases such as Warzard 
(the first title to use the company’s 
new CPS 3 coin-op system). 

Next Generation was there, and 
secured an exclusive interview with 
Noritaka Funamizu, General Producer 
of Capcom’s Development Division, 
and the man ultimately in charge of 
the SFIII project. 

The latest episode in the 

Street Fighter legend will not be a 
polygon-based affair. Instead, it uses 
the same 2D format as its 
predecessors, albeit with a graphical 
quality far in excess of the likes of 
Street Fighter Alpha 2. “We wanted 
to create a game that people will feel 
is an actual continuation of Street 


23 


: Generation OnUne, http;//www.ne)Ct-generatlon.com/ 


NEXT GENERATION February 1997 


















77 ^' 







7 Dstnbuledby 

GJ Interactive Software 
www.gtinteractive.com 


Id Anthology’” £1996 Id Software, Inc. PubiisHed by-ld Software. Inc. Distributed by GT Interactive Software Corp. All trademarks are the property of their respective companies. 



NEXT GENERATION February 1997 


breaking 




Ratings Update 

At press time, arcade operators expected 
“renewed action” by members of the U.S. 

Congress on the issue of coin^p videogame 
ratings “to begin by Christmas.” Senator 
Lieberman and Senator Kohi, the federal 
government’s longtime activists on game ratings, 
will be “working with the national PTA to get their 
warning out,” said trade association AMOA. 

This means that we can expect another round 
of lurid TV news stories about the dangers of kids 
playing violent, unrated games in arcades. State 
legislatures and city councils across America could 
feel pressure from PTAs and churches to ban 
“violent” videogames. Even before Christmas, in 
fact, the L.A. City Council passed a motion 
directing the L.A.P.D., city attorney, and chief 
legislative analyst to develop recommendations to 
“stop the spread of violence in arcade 
videogames.” Trouble is, the police usually favor a 
simple ban which is far easier than imposing a 
sensible ratings system and then babysitting 
arcades to enforce the system. 

Meanwhile, arcade trade associations are 
stepping up efforts to provide ratings stickers 
which individual game owners can voluntarily apply 
to games: and U.S. game factories and arcades 
are repeating their long-time request that Japanese 
manufacturers put ratings onscreen in the attract 
mode. This is an issue that will run and run, and 
there will be more on Senator Lieberman in next 
month’s Next Generation. 

Sega’s LBE Delayed 

Sega GameWorks has delayed the opening date 
for its first "Spielberg arcade” once again. 
Originally intended to open in fall of ’96, the 
Seattle-area LBE site debut was then pushed to 
February of 1997 — and now, we hear, the target 
date is March. Follow-up Sega LBE sites are 
slated for Las Vegas and greater Los Angeles 
(Ontario Mills, an outlet mall) later in ’97. 

Play Now, Pay Later 

Videogame king Namco is experimenting with a 
“play first, pay later” system at an arcade in 
Japan. Players use a magnetic-stripe card to 
register plays, then pay one consolidated sum 
upon exiting the site. 

The system goes chain-wide in Japan this 
March, and if it works well, Namco might try it 
over here. Namco is America’s largest arcade 
chain with over 450 stores nationwide. 

Disney Entering LBE Biz 

The Walt Disney Co. will open its first Club Disney 
site next February in Westlake Village, an 
upscale suburb of Los Angeles. They’re calling it 
an LBE (location-based entertainment) site, 
which usually means linked, and sitdown video 
simulators — yet some savvy observers claim 
Disney isn’t really going after the teenage 
market. Our guess is they want it all, teens plus 
kiddies plus parents. A spokesperson at Disney’s 
Regional Entertainment Division said additional 
Club Disney sites are expected to follow 


nationwide, “but we don’t know yet how many, 
where or when.” 

In Westlake, the freestanding 24,000 sq. ft. 
shell is already up, amidst a lavish shopping 
complex with a huge multiplex cinema, themed 
restaurants, and book superstores. Disney 
spokespeople say Club Disney will offer “more 
than a dozen play environments" within “four 
themed areas, each based on characters, stories, 
and values of classic Disney films.” Club Disney 
will also include six birthday party rooms, a fast- 
food restaurant, and a Disney merchandise shop. 
It will also offer YMCA or community center type 
functions such as art workshops, parent/child 
classes and multimedial “Edventures” (just think 
of the daytime business they can generate by 
booking school classes on field trips). 

Konami’s 5-in-l 

Baseball, anyone? How about football, basketball, 
golf, and bowling — all in one videogame? 
Konami’s new equipment comes complete with 
tournament mode so you can try to “beat the 
champ” in all five sports. 

You want depth? Lots of different skills and 
difficulty levels are available in each sport: 
football has punting from different angles and 
distances: passing offers specific moving targets. 
Golf tests your long drive, straight drive, and 
ability to compensate for wind as you vie to get 
closest to the pin. Basketball has a free throw 
time limit contest, followed by “around the world” 
and a moving basket. Roll for strikes and spares 
in the bowling lane, hook for accuracy, then start 
“flash” rounds. Baseball offers endlessly 
changing pitch speeds as you go for a home run. 

Home Run Derby Gets Hot 

Interactive Light has a massive hit on its hands 
with Power Home Run Derby. It’s a full-sized 
video batting cage where your full-sized bat hits a 
“virtual” baseball — with the pitch and the 
baseball diamond shown on an oversized TV. 

The bat is covered with highly reflective 
material (in bright environments, it looks like a 
Star Wars lightsword). Infrared sensors are built 
into the unit which measure the speed, tilt, and 
angle of your swing. This data is fed into the 
computer which instantly shows how you "would 
have hit” the ball. They’ve already got hundreds 
of units in American arcades (check out the 
Nickels & Dimes chain) and hundreds more 
around the world — and now that they’ve been 
endorsed by the Louisville Slugger bat makers, 
how could things get better? Well, they Just did 
— by the addition of a two-player mode. 

Interactive Light has added an expansion unit 
which lets a second player stand outside the 
batting cage to use a trackball which controls 
the virtual pitch! The expansion is called 
“Pitcher’s Duel” and it brings a delighted grin to 
the face of everyone who’s tried it. 

Starting next summer you’ll find special 
versions of this game, customized for your home 
team, in major ballparks beginning with Boston’s 
Fenway. Batter up! 


Next GeneratkNi OnUne, http://www.next.eeneration.com/ 






Victory 

induced 

Euphoria 


tinue 


of frequent 
game playing 


Defeat friends 
repeatedly to 
relieve anxiety 




www.capcom.com 




w 













NEXT GENERATION February 1997 


breaking 


28 



SONY HALTS psygNOSIS SALE 

NEWSLINE: Sony has decided not to sell 
off its highly regarded games subsidiary, Psygnosis. 
The hardware giant had been hawking the British 
developer and publisher the past six months, but 
decided to take it off the market. 

Sony now feels that it would lose out in the long 
run if it sells Psygnosis, despite the huge short¬ 
term profits such a deal would yield. Bids from third 
parties, which reportedly started at $240 million, 
have all been turned down. Rrms like Marvel 
Comics and a number of venture capitalists all 
expressed interest. Psygnosis turned down flat any 
and all overtures from companies already operating 
in the game business. 

BOTTOMLINE: During the six-month 
adventure, relations between the fiercely 
Independent Psygnosis and its more sober parent 
Improved. The original sale announcement came 
soon after Psygnosis expressed Its intention to 
spread Its publishing activities beyond PlayStation 
— even to the extent of embracing the rival 
Saturn. Also, differences In corporate cultures are 
said to have caused day-toKiay Internal difficulties. 

Sony now appears to have agreed to a hands- 
off approach and Is reconciled with Psygnosis' 
multi-format ambitions. Psygnosis’ high profile 
season — with such games as Formula One, 
Wipeout 2097, and Destruction Derby 2 — will 
have helped persuade Sony to hold on tight. 


DMA BEDS UP WITH 


EPIC 



O- 

<< 

o 

ar 

Co* 


NEWSLINE: DMA Design (of Lemmings 
fame) and Epic Megagames (of Unreal fame) have 
formed a “strategic alliance’’ to share development 
resources. The partnering includes the sharing of 
two sound studios, a motion-capture studio, and 
offices in the U.K. and the U.S. 


BOTTOMLINE: DMA has extensive 
experience In console development and Is 
currently working on several Nintendo 64 and 
PlayStation projects. Epic has what Is likely to be 
the next big Internet phenomenon in the works in 
the form of Unreal and wants to put It on as many 
platforms as possible. 

In addition, DMA hopes to benefit from Epic’s 
distribution and PC experience. Several DMA 
projects will be converted to PC, while several 
Epic projects will appear on N64 and PlayStation. 
Furthermore, this deal is likely to be followed by a 
complete merging of the two companies resulting 
In a considerably more influential entity. 


NINTENDD’S DOWNLOAD 

NEWSLINE: Nintendo is releasing a new 
peripheral for Super NES in Japan that will enable 
downloading of games via phone lines. 

BOTTOMLINE: The new device, which is 
essentially a flash ROM cart and costs around $50, 
will dramatically reduce the manufacturing and 
distribution costs of future Super NES titles. 

Videogame terminals at retail locations will 
enable customers to pick the game they wish to 
bum upon their cart at a cost of between $10 to 
$40 dollars. The new system enable retailers to free 
up space for additional Nintendo 64 products, while 
still meeting the seemingly insatiable Japanese 
demand for 16-blt gameplay. 

SEGA SLAMS 7P3J 
NEWSLINE: Sega of America’s Ted Hoff 
slammed recent market research which had put 
the Saturn some way adrift of rival platforms such 
as Nintendo 64 and PlayStation, saying they were 
not representative of the larger picture. 

“The TRST reports we all get — and I talked to 
them about this — all took place in the last week 
in September instead of say on the first and third 
week. The report showed Nintendo taking a 63% 
share, but that was only at a snapshot time over 
the two days of the month when the Nintendo 64 
was launched.” 

He added: “The key is staying power. This is a 
marathon we are in. This business has gone from 
1972 to 1997; we’re in our 25th year. For Sony or 
Nintendo to take a snapshot 50 yards into a 25- 
mile marathon is not very valid. You’ve got to take 
the ongoing movement of this business over a 
platform life cycle. A declaration of a win when 
you’ve only run a hundred years is not valid.” 

BOTTOMLINE: The TRST figures (as 
near as the videogame industry gets to a means of 
counting sales that everyone agrees on — at 
least, up until now) that gave Nintendo such a 
huge market-share for September also appeared to 
give Sega a share of the market similar to that of 
Atari in 1995. Such a number would have been 
disastrous — If strictly true. Sega Is annoyed that 
the info-gathering took place in the eye of the 
storm surrounding Nintendo 64’s launch and on 
the eve of Its own much rumored announcement of 
a pack-in. Sega is expected to release its own 
numbers in the near future. 

Sega does have a valid point — but we don’t 
see Sony bitching about it... 


N«xt Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 










, l^ailablf 
fo^lmmediate 


weapons like hand grenades, a flame thrower, 
an M6() maeliine gun and a magieal eobra siaf'l. 
Dynamic lighting allows Ibr stunning x isual 
effeets. (a*oss bridges, craw l through tunnels anti 
sw im through underw ater grottos. Your only 
saKarion is the guiding Spirit of'the CJreat 
i’haraoh Ramses. l ies the only one in this god 
forsaken neighborhood w ho w ants to help you 
get a forwarding address. 

So welcome to the nightmare of Ramses’ 
tomb. And enjoy your stay. It may last forever. 


fhe darkness of ancient Hgypt and e\'il alien 
forces, po.sse.ssing horrifying powers, ha\ e taken 
possession of the ancient city of Karnak. And 
these landlords are exacting extremely high rents. 
Like an arm and a leg...or worse. 

Airdropped into first person land.seapes, you 
must swim, crawl and otherw ise run like hell 
through 2()-pliis levels of gameplay. Real time, 
fully 3-D rendered environments allow you 
complete 360° freedom of gameplay. With just a 
machete to begin with, search for 7 other 



Lobolomy and Powerslave are trademarks of Lobotomy Software. Inc. " - Lobotomy Software. Inc. All rights reserved. PIE is a trademark of Playmates Interactive Entertainment. Inc. Artwork and design <1996 Playmates 
Interactive Entertainment. Inc. Sega and Sega Saliirn are trademarks of Sega Enterprises Ltd. All rights reserved. PlayStation and the PlayStation logos are trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. 





NEXT GENERATION February 1997 


breaking 


30 



The death cult strikes online gaming! 


op culture fanatics will 
remember the name of the 
patron goddess of the death 
cult who threatened to make Indiana 
Jones feel disheartened in Indiana 
Jones and the Temple of Doom, right? 
Kali is the Hindu goddess associated 
with the forces of destruction. You 
might agree after checking out Kali for 
yourself at www.axis.com/kali. 

Most of the games you can 
play online have some network play 
component as well. A typical network 
might be able to communicate at 
around 10 megabits per second 
(Mbps), and newer networks run at 
100 Mbps: consider that my ISDN line 
only chugs through at about 115Kbps, 
and your phone line struggles at 
around 33.6Kbps or less. While it’s 
not hard to set up a LAN, you will 
need space, money for a couple of 
computers, the cables, the network 
cards, and some time and patience. 

Windows 95 is very LAN friendly, 
but before Windows 95 (and Windows 
for Workgroups 3.11), Novell ruled the 
LANdscape. Novell’s Netware used the 
IPX network protocol for LANs. A 
protocol is simply the agreed-upon 
format by which all the computers on 
the network find and talk to each 
other. IPX is still a very popular 
protocol supported by all networks, 
including Microsoft’s Windows — 
though NETBEUI is Microsoft’s 
protocol. The Internet uses a TCP/IP 
— another matter entirely. All three 
are supported under Windows 95. 

Most LAN games support IPX 
networking. 

So what does all this have 

to do with online gaming? Well, Kali 
started out as a means for Doom 
players to play online through a 
program called Frag, written by Jay 
Cotton. Kali is basically the Internet’s 
home-grown version of online gaming. 

A smart programmer invented a tool 
to utilize the TCP/IP connections of 
the Internet and convince it to talk to 
your game’s IPX connectivity. Kali 
makes your Internet connection seem 
like an IPX connection to your 
network game. Kali95 — running 
under the network-friendly Windows 
95 — is a must-have for any serious 
online gamer. 

Kali has more than 50,000 users 
worldwide. You pay $20 for unlimited 
use, and it is distributed in a limited 


shareware version; send in your money 
and get your authorization code. Kali 
competes with TEN, Mpath, DWANGO, 
and other online game services that 
give you a place to play network/ 
online games. It does not compete 
with online-only games like Air Warrior 
or Ultima Online. So it’s $20 — a one¬ 
time fee — and your fee for your ISP, 
probably no more than $20/month. 
Then you can connect IPX-enabled 
games, such as Warcraft 2, to other 
Kali players. 

Kali maintains a list of Kali servers 
that are up and running different 
games on the Internet, and you get 
updated lists regularly. Kali has a one¬ 
time fee and supports Mac, Wintel 
machines, even OS/2. Support? Try 
Apache, Big Red Racing, Command & 
Conquer, Mission Force: Cyberstorm, 
Deadlock, Descent/Descent 2, 

Doom/Doom II, Duke Nukem 3D, 
EF2000, Fire Fight, Helibender, 

Heretic, Hexen, Links LS, Mechwarrior 
2, Monster Truck Madness, Mortal 
Kombat 3, Nascar Racing, NetDuel, 
Quake, Rise of the Triad, Shattered 
Steel, Super Karts, Terminal Velocity, 
Top Gun, VR Pool, and Warcraft/ 
Warcraft 2 — just to name the list off 
Kali’s home page. There are others. 

What benefits do 

subscriber services such as Mpath 
offer? Easy connectivity, unified front- 
end software, ease of navigation, 
latency reduction, and online-only 
games (TEN'S Darksun). Kali has more 
games than any service, and the price 
is right. To keep gamers, services will 
have to offer more than networkable 
games online. Kali does. Subversive, 
ain’t it? God bless the Internet. 

Hardware catch? Yep. 56Kbps 
modem technology is coming from 
companies like US Robotics. How? 
Well, the service has to be wired 
properly (AOL has committed to 
providing 56Kbps access in major 
cities), and you need a new modem 
(some modems purchased late in '96 
will be upgradable). It uses a regular 
phone line with a technology called 
asymmetric transmission — the 
regular two-way connection is limited 
to a maximum of about 35Kbps. This 
makes your uplink "shut up” and 
pours information downlink to you. 

We’ll see if this no-brainer upgrade 
for gaming grunts will satisfy power 
surfers with ISDN. But most 
gamers should love it. (ra 



NG Online 


http://www.next- 

generation.com 

• Thousands of 
people visit Next 
Generation’s daily 
news website every 
day. Why? Because 
it’s the most 
comprehensive and 
exciting source of 
news, previews, 
features, reviews, 
opinions, contests 
and downloadable 
demos on the 
Internet. 

• Every weekday, 
the site is completely 
updated, bringing 
you all the info from 
inside the game 
industry. Hard news 
and cold analysis sit 
side-by-side with 
authoritative reviews 
and exclusive 
previews. 

• Every day there’s a 
new chance to win 
software. Every day 
there is a new 
playable demo. We 
review every game 
on the same day that 
it hits the stores. 

Each day your 
questions are 
answered in a Q&A 
page. And every day 
you can contribute 

to the site via forums 
or letters pages. All 
this is absolutely free. 

• But that’s just the 
start. Next 
Generation Online 

is the sister site to 
four other videogame 
sites on the Imagine 
Games network 
covering all your 
favorite platforms 
and subjects. These 
are also updated 
every day. 

• And each day one of 
these sites holds a 
special event. See the 
ad later in this issue 
to find out what this 
month holds on the 
Online Events 
calendar. 

Visit every day! 


Next Generation OnUne, http://wAw.next-generation.com/ 










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'^1997 Ubi Soft Entertainment. Inc. All rights resen/ed 1-800-UBI-SOR. MMX technology and Pentium 
processor are trademarks of Intel Corporation. Dolby and the Double-D symbol are trademarks of Dolby 
Laboratories Licensing Corporation All other trademarks are the property of their respecti'/e holders 


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NEXT GENERATION February 1997 


breaking 


In the 




Datebook 


34 





.: , Sega's game guru and head 
of arcade development has announced 
that he personally will be overseeing 
the translation of 

from arcade to Saturn. His team has 
been scrutinizing the arcade version 
and have concluded that there’s no 
technical reason why it can’t be transferred to the home system. He 
told reporters: “The question was ‘Can we actually do it?’ but after 
studying the matter for three months we concluded that technically, 
the possibility is there. Department AM2 and I have the responsibility 
of making this possible, so please expect the best.’’ 

Nintendo’s former hardware design guru Gumpei Yokoi has set up his 
own company. The man responsible for the design of Game & Watch, 
GameBoy, and Virtual Boy quit Nintendo in the summer. Now, his new 
company — a small R & D team called *— is working on half a 

dozen secret projects, none of which are games. 

Author I- I has formed a new gaming 

company which will concentrate on developing 
online multiplayer strategy epics. _ 

L-i ' will utilize Clancy’s military 
knowledge and nose for a good story, with the talents 
of engineers and artists from Virtus Studios. 

At the public launch, Clancy commented:“This is a whole 
new world for storytellers. Better than that, it’s a way for readers to do 
the telling. Our goal is to define the state of the art in computer games 
and take it further from there.” 

-; ■ ■ one of America’s few homegrown RPGs — will not 

be released on Saturn.The highly regarded Crystal Dynamics game was 
quickly snapped up by Activision for PlayStation, but despite 1 
Saturn version being 100% complete, no 
publisher was prepared to take a risk on 
what’s perceived as a risky Saturn market. 

“Quite frankly I don’t know why a 
publisher has not been found,” offered 
Steve Groll for Crystal Dynamics. “I think 
maybe they are afraid of the Saturn’s 
smaller user base.” 

In a move seemingly from nowhere, and Scotland- 

based DMA Design (the company responsible for Lemmings, and one of 
the first members of Nintendo’s N64 “Dream Team”) have formed a 
“tight” partnership in which the two companies will “share resources 
and technologies.” Simultaneously, both companies revealed plans to 
develop for Nintendo 64 and PlayStation in addition to PC and 
Macintosh — look for DMA Design to help with the conversion to 
Nintendo 64 of - . : ,this month’s cover game (see page 70). 

Enix is beavering away on a conversion of . i - : for 

PlayStation. Once thought to be a Nintendo 64 exclusive, the Enix 
“girl-simulator” will be appearing on the Sony machine later this year. 
The provisionally titled “Version 2.0” will contain animated sequences 
too memory-intensive for the cart-based Nintendo 64 game. 

Although Wonder Project isn’t seen as a hugely important 
title for the N64, Enix was keen to display continued allegiance to 
Nintendo with the announcement of Yuke Yuke Trouble Maker, an 
action game programmed by Treasure. 



January 

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) takes place in Las Vegas 
at the Las Vegas Convention Center January 9 to 12. For more 
information, contact: Consumer Electronics Manufacturers 
Association, 2500 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22201-3834 USA. 
For more information, call (703) 907-7600 or fax: (703) 907- 
7601. Visit the web page at http://www.eia.org/cema. 

SGI and Seybold announce World Movers: The VRML 2.0 Developers 
Conference. The event will take place January 30 to 31 at the ANA 
Hotel in San Francisco, CA. Additional information can be found at 
http://worldmovers.org. 


April 

Computer Game Developer’s Conference (CGDC) from April 25 to 
29 will be at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Silicon Valley, 
CA. The show is for programmers, writers, producers, product 
managers, artists, musicians, and assorted supergeeks. Send 
your vitals (name, title, company name, address, and so on) to 
cgdc@mfi.com. To exhibit, call Gina Bovero at (415) 356-3406 
or e-mail gbovero@mfi.com. Visit the web site at http://www. 
cgdc.com. To join the Computer Game Developer’s Association, 
call (415) 948-CGDC or fax (415) 948-2744. 

Seybold Seminars comes to New York. The Conference will be April 
21 to 25; Expo will be April 23 to 25. Seybold New York will take 
place in the Javits Convention Center in Manhattan. For more info, 
visit Seybold’s web site at http://www.seyboldseminars.com/ 

May 

Multimedia 97 Exposition and Forum will take place May 6 to 9 
at the Metropolitan Toronto Convention Center, Toronto, Canada. 
The show features five major components: Multimedia 
Communications, Virtual Reality World, VICOM, Showcase On 
Production, and Electronic Design. For more information, call 
(905) 660-2491, fax (905) 660-2492, or e-mail 
moreinfo@multimedia.ca. Visit the official WWW-site at 
http://multimedia.magic.ca to get show details. 


June 


The one and only Electronic Entertainment Exposition (aka E3) 
doesn’t take place in Los Angeles but in Atlanta on June 19 
through June 21, 1997. E3 is open to the public for one day. Visit 
http://www.mha.com/e3/ for more information on E3. 

September 

Seybold San Francisco: Seybold’s Conference is from Sept 29 to 
October 3. Seybold Exposition will take place from October 1 to 3. 
For more info, visit Seybold at http://www.seyboldseminars.com/ 


SHOW ORGANIZERS: If your show isn’t listed here it’s because we 
simply don’t know about it. But we’d really like to know about it. 
Please fax us at (415) 468-4686; e-mail us at ngonline@imagine- 
inc.com: or write us at DateBook. Next Generation. 150 North Hill 
Drive. Brisbane, CA 94005. 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next.generatlon.com/ 













DISTINCTLY UIOLENTFLRUOR 


No referees. No rules. In this league it’s 
pummel or be pommeled, beat or be beaten. 
Vour challenge is to guide a sin-man team 
through a gauntlet of IS international 




ultra-realistic game play 
management capabilities. 


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PSYGNOSIS 


PlayStation 















ordering 


Back Issues 


It’s Valentine’s. Forget silly hearts, candies, and flowers. Give ’em something 
useful! (Like a full set of Next Generation magazines, for example) 








NG1 • 3D0's Trip Hawkins 
interviewed • A comprehensive look at 
all the next generation systems • The 
Violence Tapes: Four of the world’s 
most controversial game developers in 
one virtual room 

NG 2 • Shigeru Miyamoto (creator of 
Mario) interviewed • Saturn: The 
complete story so far* Gaming on the 
information superhighway (aka 
“Joyriding") • Revival of the attest: 
Why is retro gaming so big? 

NG 3 • Sega's Tom Kalinske quizzed • 
Does PlayStation live up to the hype? 

• What’s wrong with the PC? (part 
one) • Game music feature 

NG 4 • Nolan Bushnell (the founder of 
Atari) interviewed • Atari: from boom 
to bust, boom again (and then bust 
again) • Gumpei Yokoi (inventor of 
Virtual Boy) quizzed • What’s wrong 
with the PC? (part two) 

NG 5 • Sony’s Steve Race interviewed 

• Nintendo 64: The Story So Far • 
Apple: The Ripe Stuff. The story behind 
Apple’s Pippin 

NG 6 • Peter Molyneux (Bullfrog’s 
leader) talks gameplay • M2: 3DO 
bites back? • PiayStation’s Disciples: 
How PS-X games are made 

NG 7 • Sam Tramiel: Atari talks back 

• 3DO: Past, Present, and Future. 

What has 3DO achieved so far, and 
what is its future? • Electronic 
Entertainment Exposition (E’) — the 
definitive 1995 show report 

NG 8 • Howard Uncoln: Why the hell 
has Nintendo delayed Ultra 64? • Sega 
Saturn: What the TV commercials 
don’t tell you • Japanese RPGs: 
coming to a game machine near you 

NG 9 • So which 32-bit system is EA 
on? An interview with EA’s Bing 


Gordon • Reality Check: The Future of 
Virtual Reality • Saturn: Sega’s battle 
plan to attract developers 

NG 10 • Is this the end of FMV as we 
know it? An interview with Digital 
Pictures’ Tom Zito • Feature: Do 
videogames screw you up? • Motion 
Capture: A report on the iatest game 
development technology 

NG 11 • Yu Suzuki, head of Sega’s 
AM2 arcade division explains how he 
makes the best arcade games in the 
world • The Top 75 movers ’n’ shakers 
in the gaming industry: who really 
wields the power? • Mind Games: the 
rise and rise of artificial intelligence in 
computer games 

NG 12 • Chris Crawford — 
videogaming’s self-proclaimed 
“Prophet in the Desert” interviewed • 
Head to head: each and every games 
machine rated and compared 

NG 13 • Sega of America’s President 
Tom Kalinske explains why Saturn can 
still win the war • 1995: the year 
videogames changed forever 

NG 14 • Silicon Graphics’ George 
Zachary explains what’s under 
Nintendo 64’s hood • The world of 
Videogame Marketing: How Sega and 
Sony try to get into your brain 
NG IS • Sony’s Marty Homlish taiks 
about his 15 minutes • The NG 
Lexicon: gaming terms, from A to Z 

NG 16 • An interview with the most 
famous Western game developer, Dave 
Perry • Plus, How to get a job in the 
game industry 

NG 17 * So Howard, what’s the 
excuse this time? Why Nintendo 64’s 
delayed. Again • Future Joysticks — 
how force feedback wiil change the 
way you experience videogames 


NG 18 • World exclusive: Bill Gates 
talks about Microsoft, games, and the 
rise of the PC • What’s Microsoft’s 
game? • DVD: Friend or Foe? 

NG 19 • Brian Moriarty on how 
online, muitiplayer games could help 
you get laid. • Online Gaming: What’s 
the real future of this hot new genre? • 
Nights — the making of Yuji Naka’s 
32-bit masterpiece 

NG 20 • Nintendo, Sega, and Sony all 
under one roof • Is Super Mario 64 any 
good? • Nintendo 64: 20 reasons why 
it could fall 

NG 21 • The top 100 video and 
computer games of all time (it’s the 
most controversial feature we’ve ever 
done) • Interview with Williams’ 
Eugene Jarvis on retro gaming 

NG 22 • 3D0’s Trip Hawkins — he’s 
back, and claims that PlayStation, 
Saturn, and the entire 32-bit 
generation is dead • Can Apple 
compete with the big guns? 

NG 23 • 300 pages! • Will the real 
boss of Sony please step forward? An 
interview with Mr. Teruhisa Tokunaka 
• Sega Touring Car Championship 
revealed • Artificial Life — how a new 
generation of gameplay is evoiving 

NG 24 • 292 pages! • The Big Rght: 
Which console is the best buy? 
Nintendo 64, PlayStation, and Saturn 
duke it out • David Rosen, founder of 
Sega reveals Sega’s roots. • Atari’s 
Historic Road to Nowhere • The future 
sound of game music 

NG 25 • Make your own PlayStation 
games with Sony’s new Yarouze 
system • Interview with Claude 
Comair, director of Digipen, the 
Canadian gaming school • Sneak peak 
at Super Mario Kart 64 




Next Generation Back Issues (u.s. only) 

Back issues NG 2 through NG 24 are $4.99 + $1.50 delivery per issue. • Back issue NG 1, the Premier Issue, is $7.99 -t- $1.50 delivery. 
Please Mail Check to: Imagine Pub., Inc. • Back Issue Dept N896 • 150 North Hill Drive • Brisbane • CA 94005 










































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For game hints call 1 -9CI0-933-S0NY(7669). The charge is S0.95 per minute. Callers under the age of 18 must get parental permission to call. Touch-lone phone is required. Available 24 hours a day/7 days a vreek. U.S. only. The Sony Computer Entertainment logo is a trademark of Sony 
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You’re a marked man. But try not to let that intimidate you. 
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and NHL Team logos and marks depicted herein are the property ol the NHL and the respective teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent ol NHL Enterprises, LP. © 1996 NHL. Otficiaily licensed product of the National Hockey League. Ollicially licensed product 
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If you play only one rd RPG this year, it will have to be... 



Fallout 

A GURPS Postnuclear Adventure 

"Fallout has everything necessary to be the best roleplaying game of all time" 

- Next Generation 




BY GAMERS. FOR GAMERS.™ 

www.interplay.com 


© 1996 Interploy Productions. Fallout; A GURPS Postnucleor Adventure ond Interplay are trademarks of Interplay Productions. All rights reserved. 
GURPS is 0 registered trademark of Steve Jackson Games Incorporated. Used under license by Interplay. All rights reserved. 


Coming Soon for 
Win 95/DOS, and Mac 




Rumors, secrets, cover-ups, and scandals — in the 25 years since videogames began, 
fact has often been stranger than fiction. But which of the many videogame myths are 
based on the truth, and which are pure legend? A "Next Files'' (groan) report: 


DID NOLAN BUSHNELL-OR 
ONE OF HIS ASSOCIATES- 
STEAL PONG? | 1 

Did a Magnavox prototype “inspire” an | 

Atari employee to invent Pong? W 


The Myth: 

Magnavox demonstrated a working prototype of the Odyssey, the 
first home videogame system, to dealers around the country. 
When system was shown in the San Francisco area, Nolan 
Bushnell saw it, copied rt and turned it into Pong. 

The Truth: 


B i B 


Just what put the original idea for 
Pong in Nolan Bushnell's head? The 
world will probably never know 


Magnavox sent the Odyssey 
to several private showings 
before publicly unveiling it in 
New York. The first show 
was on May 3,1972, in 
Phoenix,Arizona. Three 
weeks later, the Odyssey 
was demonstrated at a trade 
show in Burlingame, outside 
of San Francisco. Magnavox 
has always maintained that 
Bushnell attended the show 


and tested the Odyssey, which played, basically. Pong. 

There is no way to prove Bushnell attended the show. He 
says he didn’t, but a couple of Atari’s early employees believe he 
was there. Even if he did not go, he could easily have heard 
about the Odyssey from a friend who did. Magnavox sued Atari, 
but the suit was setded out of court, with a result that seemed 
favorable to Magnavox at the time, but paid off big for Atari. 

What is known is that Atari paid royalties to Magnavox for 
Pong, and that Bushnell, at a trade show years later (after he had 
secured the title “the father of videogames” for himself, thanks 
to Pong) introduced Ralph Baer, who had created the Magnavox 
system, as the “father of videogames.” For a complete rundown 
on this myth, see “The Great Videogame Swindle” in NG 23. 


41 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next.generatlon.com/ 


NEXT GENERATION February 1997 















NEXT GENERATION February 1997 


42 




FROM 
RUSSIA 
WITH ^ 
LITIGAt 


The Myth: 

Soviet mathematician Alexey Pajitnov created Tetris, and then a 
selection of Soviet-based interests sold the same rights to a 
variety of Western interests, including Nintendo, Spectrum 
Holobyte,Atari, and U.K.-based Mirrorsoft. 

The Truth: 

Nobody knows the real truth (or, at least, those who do aren’t 
telling), but here’s how the litigation turned out. After creating 
Tetris with the help of other Soviet enthusiasts, Pajitnov began 
earnest negotiations with 
Robert Stein, founder of a 
European software company 
called Andromeda. Thinking he 
had a solid deal, Stein then sold 
the rights to Mirrorsoft and 
Spectrum HoloByte.When 
Pajitnov informed officials at Elorg (short for 
Electronorgtechnica—the Soviet ministry governing the import 
and export of computer software and hardware) about the 
deal, they usurped control from him. 

Stein ended up controlling the computer rights of Tetris, 
which he mistakenly thought included television (videogame) 
rights. He sold them to Mirrorsoft and Spectrum HoloByte. 
Mirrorsoft than offered American coin-op and handheld rights 
to Atari Games and Japanese coin-op rights to Sega. In the 
meantime. Spectrum HoloByte negotiated with Henk Rogers, 
an independent businessman with ties to Nintendo, to sell the 
Japanese computer and television rights. Ed Logg, the man 
who created Asteroids, then programmed an NES version of 
Tetris for Tengen, Atari Games’ consumer games subsidiary. 
Tengen Tetris went on sale in 1989. 

Here’s the tricky part Nintendo of America — desperate 
to get Tetris for Game Boy and NES, worldwide — challenged 
Mirrorsoft’s claim to both the handheld and television rights to 
Tetris. On February 24, 1989, Elorg sent a letter to Rogers 
stating that no one controlled the television and handheld 
rights to the game. Rogers obtained the handheld rights, then 
sold them to Nintendo. Next, Howard Lincoln and Minoru 
Arakawa of Nintendo of America flew to Moscow and secured 
the television rights to the game. Atari and Mirrorsoft did not 
give up. Claiming that the NES was a computer (and thus 
covered under Mirrorsoft’s arrangement with Elorg), Atari sued 
Nintendo for control of the game. Nintendo won the case 
and got a court order that forced Tengen to stop selling Tetris. 

Although the most popular account of the suit, in David 
Scheff’s Game Overtakes Nintendo’s side, it should be noted 
that at the time, Nintendo was planning to introduce (and had 
announced) a keyboard, disk drive, and BASIC language cart for 


The story about how 
the landmark 
Russian puzzler 
Tetris came in from 
the cold is as fraught 
with twists and turns 
as the best spy novel 


the NES. So was the NES a 
computer? The judge, who was not 
someone that most people would 
descibe as “techno-sawy” said no. “It 
was a travesty,’’ says one former Atari 
staffer, who asked not to be named. 
Still, the licensing snafus were not 
so much the result of dishonesty on anyone’s part, except 
maybe the budding capitalists at Elorg. “Obviously the Russians 
double dipped,” says former Atari senior vice president of sales 
and marketing Ted Hoff. “At least two companies were in 
negotiation for licensing simultaneously and the product v^ 
licensed to two companies. We had manufactured Tetris and 
put it on the market In fact it became the number one seller 
on the Nintendo platform.” In the end,Tengen was stuck with 
268,000 Tetris cartridges for the NES that eventually had to be 
destroyed. Because the Tengen 
version was so superior to the 
Nintendo version, it developed a 
black market following. Used 
versions ofTengen Tetris often 
sold for as much as $300. 

In 1996, the rights to the 
original Tetris reverted back to Alexey Pajitnov, the only man 
who did not make millions of dollars from the game. Pajitnov 
and Rogers then formed the Tetris Company in an effort to build 
off the game’s continuing popularity. 

Most recently, Pajitnov (who had been creating — or at 
least endorsing — puzzle games for Spectrum Holobyte) has 
made the move to Seattle to work for the games division at 
software giant Microsoft, where he will no doubt attempt to 
repeat his design success for Bill Gates. 


Quite possibly the most pure video or computer ^me of all time, 
Tetr/g is maddeningly addictive on every platform, from the Mac to the 
Game Boy. The office Mac high score is in the 90,000 range 


Next Generation OnUne, http;//www.next'^eneration.com/ 



























ET: THE EXTRA LI- 

200,000 CARTRIDGES? 


Were there more E.T. 
cartridges manufactured 
for the Atari 2600 VCS 
than there were systems 
in existence? 

Did the unsoid cartridges 
end up getting buried in 
a iandfiii in the New 
Mexico desert? 



The Myth: 

In the late 1970s, executives at Atari were so confident that a 
game based on ET. would be a best-seller that they 
manufactured more ET. cartridges than there were Atari VCS 
(also known as the 2600) game consoles. When the game sold 
poorly, Atari buried millions of copies of ET. in a desert landfill. 
The Truth: 

Atari actually made a mere 6 million tediously dull ET. 
cartridges. At the time, the installed base of the Video 
Computer System was over 20 million. But according to Lyle 
Rains, former chief engineer of Atari’s coin-op division, the 
reliable rumor around Atari was that there were more ET. 
cartridges than there wereVCSs in active use. It should be 
noted that the VCS came out in 1977. By the time ET. came 
out, the VCS was six years old and a lot of older sets had been 


retired and relegated to closets and garages. 

According to Ray Kassar, president of Atari in 1983 (and 
the man blamed by some for the company’s demise), the 
story about burying ET. and Pac Man cartridges in the desert 
is an “absolute lie.” He claims they were dumped in discount 
bins, not the desert. Several other Atari executives have a very 
different recollection. 

“Bullshit!” responds one ex-Atari vice president. “They 
drove 14 freight trucks into New Mexico, dug a pit, dumped 
millions of cartridges, drove a steam roller over them, then 
poured cement on top.” 

Regardless of how many were dumped in landfills, enough 
ended up in discount bins to start a price war that directly 
led (along with mass amounts of crummy software) to the 
first videogame crash. 


MMJAMS ^^CEMENTS” 
iiSPlITATION AS BALL 

'liPFAIlfcK 

Did Williams steam- 

The Myth: 

When Williams 
purchased TWI (a.k.a. 
Atari Coin-op), it joined 
an exclusive group (Atari, 
with ET, and Apple with 
the ill-fated “Twiggy” 
drive), by physically 
demolishing hardware (Me 
the parking lot, with a ste: 
(legally) for tax purposes. 
The Truth: 

According to Mark Cerny, 

roll Oiterall^a 
bunch of Mafble 
Madness 2 boards 
to destroy 
inventory? 

irble Madness 2 arcade boards, in 
im roller), to destroy inventory 

who created Marble Madness, 

Marble Madness 2 was never 
manufactured. The prototype 
performed poorly at test 
locations, and Atari decided 
against manufacturing the game. 

At most 10 or 12 boards exist 

mmms 

^ 2 ^ 



GAMEBOY & 
WALKMAN • 
SEPARATED 
AT BIRTH? 


Did Sony help design NES, Super 
NES, and Nintendo 64? 


The Myth: 

Nintendo uses Sony chips in its game consoles! This 
means Sony has had a hand in the design of every 
Nintendo machine yet. 

The Truth: 

It’s true, there are Sony chips in the NES and Super NES, 
but they’re just the sound chips. The Super NES in 
particular benefits from a Sony stereo chip that gives it 
much better sound quality than the proprietary chips in 
the Sega Genesis. Only the most the most depraved and 
ignorant UseNet denizens have managed to concoct 
conspiracy theories whereby the presence of a Sony chip 
gives Sony any design credit in a machine. 


Next Generation OnUne, http://wvrw.nextieneratlon.com/ 


NEXT GENERATION February 1997 

























NEXT GENERATION February 1997 



HEADS I 
WINJAILS 
YOU START 
A GAM 
COMPi 


Was 

Microprose 
started on 
abet? 


Aly 


The Myth: 

Long time friends and pilots Sid Meier 
and Bill Stealey were playing the Atari 
coin-op game Red Baron. When Meier 
bragged that he could make a better 
game, Stealey bet he couldn’t, and said, 
“You make a better game than this, 

and I’ll market it” 

The Truth: 

“I met Bill at a business meeting in Las Vegas,” says Sid 
Meier. “They had an arcade room and we played this old 
Red Baron game. As I recall, I had a higher score then he 
did...” Stealey continues,“The high score on the machine 
was something like 32,000 and I scored 35,000. Sid 
marched right past me with 62,000. As a pilot, that hurt my 
pride, so when he said that the game wasn’t very good and 
he could make a better one, I bet him that he couldn’t and 
told him if he made a better game. I’d sell it” Meier came to 
Stealey a few months later with a game called Hellcat Ace. 

When he tried the game, Stealey was not impressed. He 
made suggestions which Meier incorporated. “He had some 
good suggestions about things, like the bullets and the turn 
rate and things like that” Meier remembers. Once Meier 
made the changes, Stealey agreed that Hellcat Ace was a 
winning game. He began marketing it and Microprose was 
born. Meier recently left MicroProse to found Firaxis 
(affiliated to Electronic Arts). Stealey left after the sale of 
Microprose to Spectrum Holobyte and is now chairman 
(and chief playtester) at Interactive Magic. 






OF VIDEO- 
GAMES IN 
PATERNITY 
SUIT 

SHOCKER! 

OK, so we know there’s a 
chance that Atari may have 
copied the Magnavox Odyssey, 
but who did the actuai copying? 


The Myth: 

Nolan Bushnell kicked his 
daughter out of her bedroom 
and used it as a workshop 
where he created the first 
“real” videogame. Pong. 

The Truth: 

Bushnell’s great invention was 
the dedicated circuitry that 
made videogames cheap 
enough for mass production. 

Before founding Atari, Bushnell 
evicted his daughter and used her room as a workshop 
during the creation of Computer Space, a coin-operated 
version of Steven Russell’s computer game Spacewar. 
Bushnell marketed Computer Space through Nutting and 
Associates, but the game never caught on. 

In 1972, Bushnell and Ted Dabney founded Atari on a 
shoestring budget. As he would do many times in the 
future, Bushnell approached Al Alcorn, the company’s first 
full-time engineer, gave him the concept for a game, in this 
case Pong, and let him build it. 

The game Bushnell described, however, was less 
sophisticated than Pong. It had simple paddles that could 
only knock the ball in a straight line. Alcorn improved the 
game by adding segmented paddles that knocked the ball in 
various angles, allowing players to put English on the ball. 
When Bushnell saw Alcorn’s finished product, he knew he 
had a hit; he had initially thought of Pong as a trial for a 
future game, not a releasable product. 

While Nolan Bushnell may not have been responsible, 
personally, for the design of Pong, his dedication and drive, 
as demonstrated by the manufacture of Computer Space, 
and arcade Pong, certainly are enough to ensure that his 
title as “Father ofVideogames” stands. Without him, it 
would have taken years before videogames caught on as 
fast as they did. 



Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 














DID LEGENDARY PIONEER ALREADY 
HAVE MAPS? 


The Myth: 

Spacewar, a computer game created in 1962 by MIT student 
Steve Russell, is generally considered the first computer game 
ever made. 

The Truth: 

Other pioneers found ways to have fun with computers well 
before Steve Russell created Spacewar. MIT professor John 
McCarthy experimented with artificial intelligence and began 
teaching a computer to play chess as early as 1959, and Alan 
Turing, the legendary and eccentric computer pioneer, wrote a 
“computer” program that played chess as well. However, since 
no computer at the time was powerful enough to run it, he 
ran it in his head, and moved the pieces himself. 

“There were certainly at least two interactive programs 
that existed before Spacewar where you interacted with 
switches on the computer,” says Russell. “You got a display 
on the screen, and it changed depending on what you did 
with the switches. They weren’t particularly designed as 
games. And they weren’t very popular because as games they 
weren’t very good.” 

One program involved pushing a ball off of a platform and 
watching it bounce. “It was a physics demonstration with a 
bouncing ball. The computer would simulate a ball falling off 
the edge of the wall and it would go bounce, bounce, bounce 
and would either bounce off the other side of the screen, or it 
would bounce through a hole.” 

The other program was the Minskytron, which Russell 
describes as “a little display program that had a bunch of spots 
that went whirling around.” As fer back as I958,W. 
Higgenbothem, an engineer working for the DOE, had cobbled 



Is Spacewar 
really the first 
videogame, or 
were there 
predecessors? 


together a simple 
demonstration program 
(vaguely like Pong), that ran on 
an oscilliscope. The “game” was 
created for a DOE open house. 

So does Russell deserve 
credit for making the first 
game? Yes. Chess is not a 
videogame — computer chess 
uses the CPU for Al, but the 
program doesn’t (technically) 
even need to be run on a 
machine. While a few other 
interactive programs may have 
existed before Spacewar, they weren’t really games as we 
know them today — just interactive demos, with no real fell 
or win criteria. Spacewar, on the other hand is basically two- 
person competitive shooting, using the Asteroids control 
mechanism. It was designed to be, and is, a fully functioned 
videogame that requires a computer (and a monitor) to exist. 

Spacewar may not have come to fruition in a vacuum, but 
it was certainly the first time that all the elements one 
associates with a game were present at the same time. 


Later arcade manufacturers 
freely stole Russell’s concept 
— Bushnell did It first with 
Computer Space, and some 
were bold enou^ to steal 


CRIME OF THE CENTURY? 
BUY ONE CD—COMMIT 
100 FELONIES 


Is it possible to buy 
illegal CDs and 
cartridges that contain 
hundreds of pirated 
games on them? 


The Myth: 

Foreign companies manufacture 
counterfeit NES, Super NES, Genesis, Game Boy, and Game 
Gear cartridges (presumably they’re smart enough to leave 
Virtual Boy alone) that have anywhere from 40 to 150 games 
on them, as well as CDs that have hundreds of PC titles. 

The Truth: 

Nintendo and Sega agree on very few things, but both 
companies agree that counterfeited cartridges are killing the 
videogame business in Asia and that enforcing counterfeiting 
laws is a top priority. According to a Nintendo spokesperson, 
the company loses as much as $ I billion per year due to sales 



of unauthorized products. 

By purchasing one pirated CD or cart, a gamer 
may be guilty of many, many counts of receiving 
stolen merchandise (the pirated intellectual property 
of the game). Duping that CD adds multiple counts 
of piracy to the bill, and the potential for millions in 
fines. In 1991, Nintendo caught United 
Microelectronics,Taiwan’s largest 
semiconductor manufacturer, exporting 
multi-game cartridges for the NES to the 
United States. The event could have 
touched off an international incident as 
the Taiwanese government held a 30 
percent share of the company, but it was 
settled quietly. 

While the multi-game cartridges have 
been a problem, an even bigger issue is 
unauthorized copies of current hits. In 
January, 1995, Nintendo filed suit against 
Korean-based Samsung Electronics, the company that 
produced the custom ROM chips for Donkey Kong Country. 
Nintendo accused Samsung of knowingly supplying Donkey 
^ Kong Country ROM chips to two 
' - MM 1 government-owned piracy operations. 


A typical pirate cart for the NES. Generally, 
they are made in Hong Kong or other 
countries, where copyright enforcement 
is rather lax 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next.generation.com/ 


NEXT GENERATION February 1997 





































NEXT GENERATION February 1997 



MARIO: ALIVE, 
WELL, AND 
LIVING IN THE 
BRONX? 


Did Shigeru Miyamoto 
really base the 
character of Mario on 
a New York landlord? 


The Myth: 

Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of Donkey Kong, 
based Mario on the landlord of the New 
York apartment complex in which he lived. 

The Truth: 

Shigeru Miyamoto created Donkey Kong (and 
therefore the character that would become Mario) before ever coming to the U.S. — 
although his name was listed as “Jumpman” in the instructions (and he was a 
carpenter, not a plumber). The name Mario came from Mario Segali, the man who 
rented a New York warehouse to Minoru Arakawa, the president of Nintendo of 
America. When Arakawa needed a name for the character, he thought of the landlord 
(who apparently bore a surprising resemblence to Jumpman). 



SENATOR CAMPAIGNS 
TO BAN VIDEOGAMES! 


Did Sen. lieberman 
say, *"1 really wish 
that we could ban 
[videogames] 
constitutionally.” 

Is he still trying? 


The Myth: 

Senator Joseph Lieberman, 
Democrat of Connecticut, 
wants to outlaw videogames 



and told a reporter, “I really wish that we could ban them constitutionally.” 

The Truth: 

Senator Lieberman actually said, “I’d like to ban all the violent videogames. 
It’s hard to control every measure of this, especially in a society that 
values free speech and first amendment rights.” (The Hartford Current, 
Dec. 7, 1993) 

According to Dan Gerstein, Lieberman’s legislative assistant and staff 
writer, “Senator Lieberman does not believe a ban on violent or sexually 
explicit video games would be constitutional, and he has no intention of 
seeking such a ban. He simply wants manufacturers to put ratings on the 
games and to encourage game makers to understand their responsibility 
to society and to children by producing games that entertain without 
causing harm.” 

Lieberman is very open in his disdain for violent videogames as well as 
irresponsible television talk shows. He openly admits that he wants to see 
the violence taken out of games and feels provoked by such moves as 
Sabrewolf urinating on fallen opponents in Killer Instinct 


ORCHID 

FLASHER? 

KILLER! 


is there a way to see 
Orchid’s breasts in Kl? 


The Myth: 

Orchid, the perky-breasted female fighter in 
Nintendo’s Killer Instinct has a finishing move 
in which she turns her back toward the 
player and opens her dress, causing her 
opponent’s eyes to bulge as they faint in 
ecstasy. In one level of the game, a mirror 
hangs from a wall. If players move Orchid in 
front of the mirror before making her flash, 
they can see her breasts reflected there. 
The Truth: 

According to Nintendo of America 
development and evaluation manager Ken 
Lobb, “There is no mirror.” 



Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next.generatlon.com/ 


































NINTENDO’S 
32-BIT SUPER 
CONSOLE! 


The Myth: 

Nintendo and Sony formed a partnership to create 
a CD-ROM drive for the Super NES called the 
PlayStation. When the partnership dissolved, Sony 
decided to design an entire console around the 
drive, using technology partially created by 
Nintendo, and kept the name “PlayStation” to taunt 
Nintendo Limited president Hiroshi Yamauchi. 

The Truth: 

The name PlayStation seems to have existed even before 
Sony’s ill-feted partnership with Nintendo. Sony first 
investigated entering the video game market as a partner of 
Philips. When that relationship feiled, Sony emerged as a new 
partner for Nintendo, creating the PlayStation as a peripheral 
device for the Super NES. Sony sources, however, say the 
name PlayStation was first discussed back when Sony was still 




Did Nintendo have a hand in 
naming — and designing — 
PiayStation? Was the 
PiayStation name kept after 
the Super NES CD-ROM deai 
feii through as a siap to the 
president of Nintendo? 


working with Philips. 

Sony retained several engineers through all 
phases of PlayStation development, from its 
1991 Nintendo phase all the way through the 
product’s completion in 1994. One of Sony’s top engineers 
says he worked with such Nintendo electronics wizards as 
Masayuki Uemura during the first stages of the PlayStation, 
but claims that all of the work done by Nintendo was 
scrapped and that Sony started from scratch twice before 
completing the final version of the PlayStation. Comparing 
the Super NES to the PlayStation (and even the Nintendo 
64), seems to bear out the feet that the Sony PlayStation has 
nothing technologically in common with Nintendo machines. 


ATARI SPECTACULARLY 
FAILS TO DO THE MATH 


The Myth: 

Atari was offered the rights to 
distribute Pac Man in the United 
States. When they turned it down, 

Namco went to Midway Games. 

The Truth: 

In short, it’s true. But the artual story is more complicated. A 
feud erupted between Atari and Namco in the 70s over the 
game Breakout. Namco had bought Atari’s Japanese operation 
and manufactured and distributed the company’s games in 
Japan. With Breakout, however. Atari only allowed Namco to 
distribute the game and insisted on manufecturing it in the 
United States. 

When Namco president Masaya Nakamura discovered that 
the Yakuza, the Japanese mafia, was manufecturing counterfeit 
Breakout machines, he began building his own counterfeits to 
protect his business. Atari executives accused Namco of 
stealing their game, and the two companies finally met in court 
Atari won. 

After the court battle. Atari sent an executive to smooth 
relations with Namco without signing any contracts for future 
deals. Atari’s board still 
considered Namco a 
small time company and 
felt that Nakamura had 
been dishonest 
But by this time, 

Namco was one of the 


Did Atari turn down Pac 
Man, thinking it would 
never sell? 



largest and strongest arcade 
companies in Asia, largely due to 
profits from Breakout. Namco 
engineers had begun developing 
their own games. Impressed by the 
quality of the new games, the Atari 
executive signed a contract promising $ I million in exchange 
for consumer rights to future games. When he returned, he 
was nearly fired for the action. 

While the agreement turned out to be one of the 
smartest deals in videogame history, his superiors were 
furious. “It was like Jack and the Beanstalk,” said one ex- 
Atarian. “We sent him to Tokyo to sell the cow and he came 
back with a few magic beans. One of those beans turned out 
to be Pac Man.” Amazingly, Atari “passed” on that “bean” and 
instead the rights went to Midway. Afterwards, Atari was 
wise enough to handle the U.S. arcade distribution for 
Xevious, Pole Position, Assault, and other Namco games. 

It should be noted that in passing 
on Pac Mon, Atari was demonstrating 
iRP the same feelings of most in America 
towards the game. At the 1981 
HjHjHj AMOA where it was 


first debuted, it was 
considered a dog — it 
was too simple (just as 
Defender was deemed 
“too complicated”). 


N«xt Gmeratlon OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 


NEXT GENERATION February 1997 

















NEXT GENERATION February 1997 



GAME OVER: 
A.K.A ONE 
FATALITY TOO 
MANY 


Has anyone 
actually died from 
playing video- 
games? What’s all 
that stuff about 
epilepsy? 


The Myth: 

Playing videogames can cause terrible medical problems, among 
them fatal epileptic seizures. 

The Truth: 

A medical journal once reported a new infirmity called “Space 
Invaders wrist,” game pads are often accused of causing 
“Nintendonitis,” and there used to be a lot of reports of “Pac Man 
elbow;” but none of these problems have killed anybody. 
Additionally, videogames have been blamed in a number of deaths 
that occur when an unstable individual (who happens to play 
videogames) kills someone. The Boston Herald once reported 
that a man who went on a killing spree practiced his aim with 
Virtua Cop. For us, this is liking blaming rock music for juvenile 
deliquency — stupid. But for some, any excuse is better than 
taking responsibility for one’s own actions, so we expect 
videogames to continue to be scapegoats for quite some time. 

Epilepsy is quite another matter. All games today come with 
warnings in their instruction books for people with epilepsy. 

While videogames will not affect all epileptics, certain patterns and 
backgrounds will cause problems for a small group (who are 
similarly effected by looking at any TV set, or at repeating patterns 
like Venetian blinds). 

According to a spokesperson from a videogame hardware 
manufecturer, two or three people have had videogame-induced 
seizures on the floor of every major trade show. After years of 
experience, the game companies are no longer surprised when this 
happens. They quickly remove the people from the floor and try 
to keep them as comfortable as possible until the seizure ends. 

Still, there has never been a confirmed report of a videogame 
induced epileptic attack leading to a (real) fatality. 

For more info on the health and social effects of video and 
computer games, consult our feature “Do games screw you up?” 
(NG 10 - also available online at http://next-generation.com). 


Do our tax dollars 
pay U.S. Marines 
to play Doom? 


The Myth: 

The U.S. Marine 
Corps has 

created a special version of Doom for training 
soldiers. 

The Truth: 

It’s true, the U.S. Marine Corps has created a 
special version of Doom for training soldiers. 
According to Col. Paul Hanover, the Marine- 
modified game “supports a series of training 
standards and tasks that Marines will be required 
to accomplish on the battlefield.” It should be 
noted that all kinds of special versions of Doom 
exist. Someone even created a custom version of 
Doom to map out a library. 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 











ARMY ARMED 
WITH 

QUARTERS^ 


Did the military really pay Atari to produce a version 
of Battle Zone to train soldiers? 



The Myth: 

After viewing Bott/e Zone.Atari’s 3D vector graphics tank battle 
simulation, the U.S.Army asked Atari to create a modified 
version of the game for training soldiers. 

The Truth: 

According to Ed Rotberg, creator of 6<7tt/e Zone, Atari was 
commissioned to make a special version of Battle Zone that 
included realistic U.S. and Soviet tanks 
and helicopters. The game was 
commissioned not by the U.S.Army, but 
by a consultant group of retired 
generals. They thought that a more 
realistic version of Battle Zone would make a good 
training tool for drivers of the (then preproduction) Bradley 
Fighting Vehicle. As the creator of Battle Zone, Rotberg was 
asked to design the customized simulation. He objected, 
feeling that Atari should not get involved with the military. 


SCORE 200000 




- 


The Military version of the ^ame is quite simiiar to the s 
with the exception of a range finder and weapons select menus. 
Note the lack of scoring accuracy of the prototype version 


but finally began work on the 
project in 1981, after receiving 
assurances that his role would be 
limited to creating the prototype 
(Atari would need to find someone 
else to create the final production 
version). It took Rotberg three 

_ _ months of 

constant work to 
develop the 
prototype 
training 

version of the game — 
according to Rotberg, he rarely 
saw his wife while working on 
the project and he has few fond 
memories of the job. 

Although the prototype was 
finished by the deadline (a 
military tradeshow),Atari decided 
not to pursue the military sim business any further. At least 
two prototypes of Military Battlezone exist, in private 
collector’s hands. Military Battlezone quickly became a 
footnote to the golden age of Atari, but it did have one lasting 
impression — the Bradley Fighting Vehicle’s steering wheel 
became the model for the controller on one of Rotberg’s 
next projects, a game to called Warp Speed. Rotberg left Atari 
in October 1981, before the project was finished, to found a 
new company with fellow Atari-expatriates Roger Hector and 
Howard Delman. After he left,Atari signed a licensing 
agreement with LucasFilm and Rotberg’s projett was finished 
and renamed Star Wars. So, even though the project itself 
failed, the game has had some impact on the industry. 


Maybe the popularity of 
the game with Ole on 
base convinced the 
generals that it would 
make a good trainer 


PAG MAN: 
IS IT AN 
ASSUMED 
NAME? 


ptcruAd 


The Myth: 

Poc Man was named Puck Man when it was first distributed in 
Japan, but Namco changed the name to avoid tempting 
American graffiti artists who might tamper with the “P’ 

The Truth: 

According to a 1983 article in the International Herald- 
Tribune, the name Puck Man was changed because of what 
Namco founder Masaya Nakamura described as “the 
American penchant for four-letter words.” 


I OnUtw, http://www.next-generation.com/ 


NEXT GENERATION February 1997 



























For a free 24-page quick-start 

°J.Vaitipire;, 
The MasqiTeraae 

the storytelling game of 
personal horror, call 1-800- 
454-WOLF, or download from 

<www.white-wolf.com/ 

quickstart>. 


* 1997 White Wolf Publishing, Inc. 

Vampire the Masquerade is a registered trademark of 
White Wolf Publishing. All rights reserved. 


ROTTEN APPLE 


Did Apple founder 
Steve Jobs screw 
Apple co-founder 
Steve Wozniak out 
of thousands of 
dollars while 
designing a game 
at Atari? 


IN ATARI’S 
BARREL! 


The Myth: 

While working at Atari, Steve Jobs was promised 
$ 1,000 for each chip he could remove from the design 
of the arcade game Breakout. He asked his friend Steve 
Wozniak for help, telling him he’d been promised $ 100 
per chip, and promising to split the money. 

The Truth: 

The story’s details are wrong, but otherwise it is essentially true.The most correct version of the 
story (with quotes from Woz) appears in Owen Linzmayer’s curiously named, but seminal, Apple 
History book. The Mac Bathroom Reader. 

Nolan Bushnell wanted Steve Jobs (Atari’s 40th employee) 
to design Breakout. Jobs went to Wozniak (who then worked 
at Hewlett-Packard) and told him that Bushnell would pay 
them $ 1,000 if the game consisted of 39 or less chips, and 
$700 if it had 40 or more. Bushnell needed the game in 5 
days. After working 4 nights straight, without sleep. Jobs and 
Wozniak had gotten the number of chips to 42, and 
exhausted, gave up. Jobs gave Wozniak his $350 share the 
next day. 

Years later, Wozniak broke down in tears when he 
discovered that Jobs had actually been paid $5000 to “design” 

Breakout, and is given sole credit for the work (which was 
mostly Wozniak’s). In some ways, though, Wozniak had the 
last laugh. His circuit design was so elegant, no one at Atari 
could figure it out, and it had to be redesigned from the 
ground up for the production model. 



VIDEOGAME HEROINES Do videogame 
MOONLIGHT IN AFTER- 
HOURS PORN SHOCKER! 


movies in 


Japan? 


The Myth: 

In Japan, with different social mores than the U.S., it’s no big deal that 
most videogame heroines routinely star in X-rated entertainment, 
when not in games. 

The Truth: 

It’s true, sort of. Hugely popular, fat, cheap, black and white “fen-boy” comic books often have 
videogame vixens appearing in extremely compromising positions, but the comics are about as 

official as those that show the 


li 


i| 


development teams from Sega 
and Namco fighting it out 
with giant swords (which are 
also more common than one 
might think). In one book, the 
Tekken and Virtua Fighter 
teams are locked in near 
constant combat). It is true, 
however, that in an officially 
licensed Japanese anime Street 
Fighter movie, Chun-Li goes 
topless in a shower scene. 


















ini 


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PUMP FAKES 


FULL 12-MAK ROSTERS 


ALL 2S NBA TEAMS 
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POST PLAYS 

INTUITIVE CROWD 
REACTIONS 


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KONAML 


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AcliVisioN 



Introducing The All-New MechWarrior®2 
Arcade Combat Edition. 

Rebuilt from the ground ur 

MechWarrior 2 has been fully customized for 
console systems. Equipped with 48 arcade-style 
missions— sixteen exclusive console scenarios. 
Simplified controls for genuine shooter-style 
gameplay. Plus, awesome power-ups, super-charged 
AI and more 'Mechs® per mission to trample on 
anyone that suggests this is just a PC port. 

MECHWARRI0ir2 

31 ST CENTURY COMBAT 




48 missions with awesome power-ups Ultra-fast gameplay pt^ed with Advanced tactical Artificial Intelligence 

including Stealth and Invincibility! lethal missiles and ’Mechs! and stunning 3-D texture-mapping! 








This officul sail is ymr tsssuranct shas shis product mtets thr highest 
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NEXT GENERATION February 1997 


ng special 

RC 

Goe 


Id 





In his exclusive interview with Next Generation (NG18), Bill Gates predicted that "all 
the PCs that ship in 1997" would have greater graphics power than the home consoles.j 
He might be right. There's a brave new world of PC graphics cards hitting the market* 
all of them geared to 3D, and all of them itching to kick Mario and Crash's ass 

nfortunately. 1996 was 
not the year of 3D on 
the PC (for consoles, of 
course, the story was 
quite different). Despite 
the swell of publicity this 
time last year about the coming PC 3D 
revolution, all that actually arrived were 
delays and products that fell way short of 
the hype. In short, nothing unusual for the 
computer business. 

But now it’s 1997, and suddenly 3D 
acceleration is a standard feature on many 
new systems. The shelves are filling with 
hot new 3D-accelerated games — and it is 
becoming increasingly hard to find a new 
graphics card that does not have some sort 
of 3D support built in. Almost overnight, 

3D acceleration has gone from a gimmick 
to a must-have. The revolution is now. 

2D’s last year? This is how 

1996 may well be remembered. Never 
before in the history of computer add-ons 
has the state of the art advanced so fast. 

Today’s top cards are so much better than 
the struggling “decelerators” of just six 
months ago that any comparison would 
make those early attempts look like PC 



rt Generation OnUne, htlp://v»ww.next generation.com/ 








NEXT GENERATION February 1997 


ng special 


56 



Sure, graphics can’t make a bad game good. 
But they sure add to the gaming experience 


XTs next to Pentiums. 

The pace of innovation shows no signs 
of slowing down either. For every 3D 
chipset currently available, it seems that 
there are at least three others in 
development. But a momentary plateau 
has been reached in this relentless race, 
and with today s latest hardware, finally the 
rewards of making the jump to 3D far 
outweigh the risks of the technology being 
soon obsolete. Next Generation can 
now pick the winners of the first leg. 

There are four main chipsets that form 
the underlying technology of most of the 


So with technology advancing and 
prices falling so fast, the real question game 
players must face is not “should I upgrade?” 
but “when?" With new and faster 
hardware always on the horizon, many will 
find that waiting pays off. But if you don’t 
want all of the good stuff coming out today 
to pass you by, now is the time to make 


3D acceleration will rock your world and take 
PC gaming into the next dimension 


3D boards out there — each is evaluated 
on the following right-hand pages. 

Although a bad game is 

always a bad game, no matter how good it 
looks, any gamer who wants the full 
experience of playing the latest PC titles 
simply must have some serious 3D 
horsepower: Tomb Raider without 3D 
acceleration looks like just another 
dungeon game, with it, the title is pretty 
enough to make Mario sweat. And you 
have never played Quake or Descent 2 until 
you have experienced them in their full 
3D-accelerated glory. Some titles now 
(and doubtless more in the future) will 
require some form of 3D acceleration to 
be playable at all. Hyperblade with 3D 
acceleration pops right out of the screen: 
without it, it is frankly too slow to be 
anything but dull. 


the switch. The hardware and software 
have at last reached a critical level of 
maturity. 3D acceleration will rock your 
world and take PC gaming into, pardon the 
pun, the next dimension. 

When the first 3D cards 

appeared a little over a year ago, some 
laughingly called them “3D-decelerators.’’ 
Sure the static screenshots of games that 
used them looked prettier, but the actual 
gameplay of those 3D-“accelerated" games 
often turned out to be slower than the 
original versions. This, coupled with poor 
to mediocre 2D performance and sky high 
initial costs, left many early adopters feeling 
disappointed and burned. 

Gamers do owe much thanks, though, 
to Diamond for bringing out its Edge 3D 
line. Creative Labs for the initial VL-bus 3D 
Blaster, Jazz Multimedia for the 3D Magic. 


and Paradise for itsTasmania 3D. Why? 
Because although today these cards should 
be avoided (no matter how steeply 
discounted), they blazed a trail for others 
to follow, and helped pave the way for the 
much more capable cards available now. 

One thing that plagued the first 
generation of 3D accelerators was the lack 
of a standard 3D API (Application 
Programming Interface). Software had to 
be specifically written to support any given 
card, resulting in a classic Catch-22 
situation: On the one hand, no developer 
wanted to invest the time and money into 
writing a 3D port to an unproven 
accelerator with a tiny installed base. On 
the other hand, no gamer wanted to spend 
big bucks buying a new technology with 
very little game support. This meant that 
often the pack-in games that came with the 
accelerator were the only titles ever 
supported by the card. Worse, some 
graphics cards included mail-in coupons for 
3D-accelerated games to be shipped later, 
and in a few cases these projects got 
shelved and gamers were left near empty- 
handed. It's tough, being a pioneer. 

But rather than abandoning 

the 3D accelerator world as a failure, many 
manufacturers spent the past year figuring 
out how to do it right, fortunately. 

Despite months of delays (the Verite 
chip was supposed to be ready by last 
summer), last fall the floodgates finally 
opened. By around October, the true 
potential of 3D accelerators was plain to 
see, with solid 3D offerings from a host of 
card manufacturers. Indeed, the classic 
Catch-22 log jam that plagues the launch of 
any new technology seems to have broken. 

The current batch of 3D accelerators 
offers better performance and games that 
are a real leap beyond their non¬ 
accelerated equivalent, all at much lower 
prices then the under-powered first 
generation of cards. At last, the incentive is 
big enough to get gamers making the jump, 
and, as the mass of users build, so do the 
ranks of developers committed to 
supporting accelerated 3D. 

Of course, the number of game players 
with 3D accelerators is still just a fraction 
of the overall marketplace. Thankfully then, 
developers are being driven by another 
powerful whip as well — ego. No one 
wants to risk having the ugliest screenshots 
in magazines or on boxes (imagine how 
proud Epic is to have an actual game 
screenshot of Unreal on NG’s cover this 
month). So, as the race to take advantage 





ng special 


STViRGE 


Coming soon to a motherboard near you, the ViRGE chipset is well beyond the 
"graphic decelerators'' of days past. But can this low-cost solution deliver? 


he S3 ViRGE is leading the charge towards 
ubiquitous “free-D” by showing up “built-in” on 
more and more motherboards. And if you want to 
upgrade your system with the ViRGE, there are no 
less than 15 cards from a variety of manufacturers 
based on the technology. 

The ViRGE supports flat and Gouraud shading and perspective- 
corrected texture mapping. Bi-linear and tri-linear filters are 
supported, as is MIP-Mapping, Z buffering, alpha blending, and fogging. 
Anti-aliasing is not supported in hardware, however. TheViRGE 
provides support for video playback acceleration, but it does not do 
vertical interpolation, so quality in full-screen video is lacking. 

TheViRGE chip currently comes in two varieties: regular and 
ViRGE/VX. TheVX model supports VRAM and a faster RAMDAC 
(220MHz vs. 135MHz) to allow support of higher resolutions and 
color depths without a loss of performance. 

None of theViRGE-powered cards we have seen provided Vesa 
2.0 support automatically. All required the loading of a driver to allow 
selection of high-res modes in Quake — this is a major annoyance. 

S3 has just announced the next step in the ViRGE evolution, the 

Virge-based cards 


ViRGE/DX andViRGE/GX. These new chips add vertical interpolation 
for better video support and an improved internal pipeline to more than 
double the 3D performance. The smart shopper interested in the ViRGE 
would hold out until cards based on these chips make their debut 
TheViRGE is a ffur to excellent 2D performer depending on 
whose card and drivers you have, but the 3D performance leaves a lot 
to be desired. Below is a run down of our impressions of some of the 
more interesting ViRGE cards that have passed our way: 


Descent 11 looks great on the ViRGE, but its framerate fails well 
short of the constant 25-*- fps soon with Descent II on the Rendition, 
and dCH fps on the SDfx 



NEXT GENERATION February 1997 
















NEXT GENERATION February 1997 


ng special 


I 


58 



of 3D in games heats up, and as 
programmers learn new tricks and 
techniques, games will advance in looks and 
speed at a rapid pace. 

Microsoft’s Direct 3D API 

has to some extent solved the standard 
API problem. Developers are less wary of 
supporting 3D acceleration because writing 
for Windows 95 s Direct3D enables 
acceleration automatically on machines 
that support it, without having to specially 
code software to take advantage of each 
particular 3D chipset. On machines 
without 3D hardware, Direct3D provides 
software emulation of the 3D environment 
and scales back the image quality to 


produce acceptable speed. Microsoft’s 
Hellbender and Monster Truck Madness are 
the first two games to demonstrate the 
potential of Direct3D. and Activisions’s 
Hyperblade demonstrates support from 
someone other than Microsoft. 

But Direct3D was very late in arriving, 
and rather than taking their chances 
waiting for Microsoft, many game makers 
have picked one or two 3D chipsets and 
targeted them specifically. This is why we 
are left with 3D-accelerated Quake running 
only on Rendition Verite chips, for 
example. But as Direct3D matures, the 
promise of a larger potential user base may 
lure developers away from writing 
proprietary versions of their games. And 
as CPUs and accelerators get faster, the 


estimated 10-15% performance hit 
Windows95 and Direct3D causes won’t be 
nearly as painful. Certainly, for developers, 
it should be a lot less painful than writing 
many different versions of the same game. 

Apple’s answer to DirectX is called 
Game Sprockets, and its 3D API is called 
QuickDraw 3D Rave. 3D Rave is well 
beyond Direct3D technically, supporting 
object-oriented 3D programming and 
providing an easy way for developers to 
extend the API to take advantage of new 
features. Rave is cross-platform, so games 
written for it can be simultaneously 
released for Mac and Windows. If Apple 
can convince enough developers to buck 
Microsoft and persuade enough card 


makers to release optimized 3D acclerated 
drivers. Rave may be the dark horse 
winner in the API race. 

But as for now. there are five basic 3D 
acceleration technologies competing for 
your upgrade dollars, with a few more on 
the immediate horizon. Each offers certain 
strengths and weaknesses; the boxouts on 
the following pages give you a hands-on 
run down of what is available today. 

One thing is certain about the 

future of graphics chipsets — 2D only 
cards will soon be extinct. All the classic 
2D chipsets have or will soon evolve into 
3D capable hybrids. The ATI mach64 
architecture has been extended to become 
the 3D Rage, and now the 3D Rage II. The 


Cirrus Logic Laguna 2D has morphed into 
the Laguna 3D. The S3 Trio64 has grown 
to become theViRGE line. And even the 
last of the great 2D-only acceleration 
chips, the Tseng Labs ET6000, is about to 
be retro-fitted with 3D features. 

These new 3D enhanced versions of 
older tried and true 2D architectures 
usually maintain both hardware and driver 
compatibility with their ancestors, making 
it easy for card manufacturers to move up 
to the added functionality without having 
to do an expensive redesign. This has 
brought about the term “free-D," 3D 
acceleration provided for no more than 
the cost of the old 2D. These chips are 
also very appealing to system 
manufacturers who have been providing 
on-motherboard graphics. With only a 
minor redesign, a new model of a system 
that formerly depended on the common 
mach64 or trio64 chips can be provided 
with basic 3D features by moving to the 
Rage or theViRGE. Thanks to such simple 
and cheap drop-in 3D, in six months it 
should be hard to find a new system that 
doesn’t have at least some form of 
hardware 3D acceleration included. 

On the other side of the coin 

are the entirely new chip architectures 
being engineered for 3D from the ground 
up. These designs tend to lead the curve in 
3D performance, but lag when it comes to 
competing with the established chips on 
the 2D and market-share playing fields. 

Some, such as the 3Dfx Voodoo. NEC 
PowerVR, and S-MOS Pix chip avoid 
competing in the 2D arena entirely. They 
ignore 2D features, and instead work in 
conjunction with the existing 2D 
accelerator in your system. Other new 
designs aim to be all-in-one 2D/3D 
accelerators. Some go even beyond that: 
Mpact’s chip aims to take over the role of 
your sound card and modem too. 

As the 3D-focused new designs on the 
block mature, it is likely that their support 
for 2D will be polished and refined, turning 
at least a few victors into real contenders 
for the mainstream, where integrated 2D 
and low cost are the key attributes. Just as 
certain is that the 2D descended 
mainstream chipsets will be extended with 
continually better 3D performance as 
engineers learn new tricks and techniques. 
The end result will be ever better 3D for 
the gaming masses. 

What follows is a quick run-down of 
the chips and technologies to keep an eye 
on as 1997 unfolds, listed in the order in 


The 2D mainstream chipsets will be extended 
with better 3D performance as engineers learn 
new tricks. The result will be better 3D 


Next Gcneiation OnUnc. 






3 Dfx Voodoo 

The 3D is fast and smooth, but with no 2D or windowed support, the 3Dfx Voodoo 
requires a two-slot commitment in your PC. Is it worth the price? 


he 3Dh< Voodoo is an arcade quality 3D-only 

T chipset that, for a price, delivers the ultimate in 

3D speed out of the current crop of accelerators. 
The catch is that the Voodoo must be paired with 
a 2D card, an expensive proposition that takes up 
a lot of slots in your machine. The Voodoo also 
does not allow 3D acceleration in a window — it only 
works when running full screen. So VRML web browsers 
will see no benefit 

But with 4MB dedicated to nothing but 3D, these 
Voodoo powered cards can fly. The visual quality ofVoodoo 
games is on par with the Verite, but generally we saw near 
50% faster frame rate. Descent 2 looks equally beautiful on 
both, but whereas the Verit6 cards zoomed around at a very 
respectable 25fjps, the Voodoo gave us 45fps. Very nice. 


3Dfx has announced a new version of the Voodoo chipset called the 
Voodoo Rush designed to be built on to the same card as a 2D chip. 
This will address the biggest complaint of the first generation of cards 
by allowing 3D in a window and no need for two graphics cards, all for 
the same price as the current 3D only boards. Specific Voodoo Rush 
boards should be announced soon now that the chipset is available. 


3Dfx-based cards: 


Tomb Raider comes 
accelerated for both the 
SDfx Voodoo and Rendition 
Verite chips. Both versions 
deliver silky smooth 30 at 
SOfps, with significantly 
enhanced visual quality. 
The chunky graphics of the 
PlayStation version pale in 
comparison. Only a 
Nintendo 64 has the 30 
performance to do the 


Diamond Monster 3D 
$299 

Rating: ★★★★ 

Manufacturer: Diamond / 800.468.5846 / wvm.diamondmm.com 
Bundle: Activision’s MechWarrior 2 and Hyperblade; Criterion 
Studio’s Scorched Planet trial version. Eidos Interactive’s trial version 


of Tomb Raider, Interplay’s Descent II: Destination Quartzon, VR Soccer 
’96 and Whiplash; and Ocean’s EF2000; plus Microsoft’s Game 
Sampler 2 featuring Hellbender and Monster Truck Madness 

In a nutshell: The Monster 3D has a great bundle of games, and 
really does give an arcade quality experience on your PC. 


Orchid Righteous 3D 
$299 

Rating: ★★★★ 

Manufacturer: Orchid / 800.577.0977 / www.orchid.com 
Bundle: Activision’s MechWarrior 2, Interplay’s Descent II: 
Destination Quartzon, VR Soccer; Semifinals, and Whiplash 3D, 


Criterion’s Scorched Planet trial version, and trial versions of 
Microsoft’s Hellbender and Monster Truck Madness 

In a nutshell: The current drivers of the Righteous 3D give it 
a slight edge over the Monster, but otherwise there boards are 
nearly identical. 


159 


NEXT GENERATION February 1997 






NEXT GENERATION February 1997 


ng special 


60 


which they’re expected to make a splash 
(web addresses are also given); 

NEC Electronics’ PowerVR 

The PowerVR chip is currently available as 
the standard 3D accelerator in the 
Compaq Presario 8710, but the chip will 
not be generally available until the 
VideoLogic Apocalypse 3D board hits the 
shelves later this spring. 

Like the 3Dfx Voodoo, the PowerVR is 
a 3D-only board. Unlike the 3Dfx though, 
it communicates with your existing 2D 
setup over the PCI bus rather than by 
chaining onto your VGA output. 

The PowerVR’s biggest claim to fame is 
that it does away with the need for a Z- 
buffer, saving on memory expense. Instead, 
it does hidden surface removal by means 


Blaster PCI, Steve Mosher, Creative’s 
Director of Marketing clarified. “The new 
Graphics Blaster is going to go head-to- 
head with the ViRGE-based cards, the ATI 
Rage and Rage II, and the Matrox Mystique. 
The 3D Blaster PCI, however, is intended 
for the Quake fanatics.” 
http://vvvvw.cirrus.com/ 

S-MOS PIX 

The S-MOS PIX chip aims to keep costs to 
a bare minimum by making due with no 
onboard RAM. Final board costs of well 
less than $100 should thus be possible. 

The PIX is a 3D-only accelerator that 
works in conjunction with your existing 
2D system, and uses your main memory as 
a texture buffer. It remains to be seen 
what kind of performance S-MOS will be 


If you want to be able to really take advantage 
of the latest in gaming technology, now is the 
time to jump into 3D 



The Chromatic Research MPACT 
works as a general purpose co¬ 
processor to your CPU, running 
special ‘MediaWare' modules that 
provide various features. Since these 
modules are software and not hard¬ 
coded, the IMPACT'S functionality can 
be improved in time. Who knows 
whether the MPACT can juggle all of 
its tasks at once and still deliver 
good performance 


of an Image Synthesis Processor that is 
integrated into the chip. The current 
version of the PowerVR does not support 
texture filtering however, a serious flaw. 
http://www.powervr.com/ 

Cirrus Logic Laguna 3D 

The new Creative Labs Graphics Blaster 
model will be powered by the Cirrus Logic 
Laguna 3D chipset. The most interesting 
trait of the Laguna 3D (besides its fast 
Rambus memory interface) is that it works 
some magic with the PCI bus to enable 
textures to be stored in main system 
memory without a large performance hit. 
This will allow Laguna-powered boards to 
get by with less on board memory (read: 
lower prices). 

In addition to Creative Labs. Cirrus 
claims that several other board makers will 
be announcing Laguna 3D-powered 
equipment soon. When asked how the 
new 3D enabled Graphics Blaster will fit in 
to Creative Labs lineup with the new 3D 


able to deliver with so much traffic on the 
PCI bus. but it will be hard to beat the 
price. Multiple PIX chips should also be 
able to be combined on one board to 
enhance performance. 

The PIC does not do filtering, but S- 
MOS promises that its drivers will 
upsample all the textures in a game at load 
time, pre-filter them, and fill up all available 
main memory. So the more memory you 
have, the better. 
http://smos.com 


Next Gcneiatlon OnUne. ‘ 'tpV/AWA.next peneration.com/ 



The S-MOS PIX requires no on-board RAM; PIX 
equiped accelerators can be very inexpensive 


SDIabs Permedia 

The expensive 3Dlabs Permedia chipset 
looks to be targeted as more of a 
professional solution, but it does have all of 
the necessary 3D horsepower to be a 
home contender if the price is right. 

Creative Labs will be using the 
Permedia in its recently announced Falcon 
accelerator. A 3Dlabs representative 
explained that it is trying to create 
“pervasive” 3D, a single-chip architecture 
suited to everything from the high-end 
CAD station to the home. 
http://vvww.3dlabs.com/ 

3D Accelerated Laptops 

ATI has announced a version of its Rage 
chipset designed to drive an LCD screen. 

It won’t be long before 3D acceleration is 
a standard feature in laptops as well as 
desktops. Still, without corresponding 
increases in battery life, will anyone play? 
http://www.atitech.ca/ 

Chromatic Research Mpact 

The Mpact chip is over a year behind its 
scheduled release, but if it delivers on its 
promises, it should impress. 

The Mpact is not just a graphics 
accelerator, but rather is a very high-speed 
general purpose media-oriented CPU. The 
Mpact will ship with software modules to 
provide full featured 2D & 3D acceleration, 
MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 decoding, real-time 
MPEG-1 encoding. FM and wavetable audio 
synthesis, support for 3D audio. Dolby AC- 
3 surround sound decoding, 33.6kbps 
fax/modem, full-duplex speakerphone, and 
video teleconferencing over both ISDN 
and regular telephone lines. 

Chromatic claims that adding an Mpact 
chip to a systems motherboard will cost 
no more than $ 150. If it can indeed deliver 
ail of these promised features, then the 
Mpact could radically change the concept 
of what are considered “standard features” 
on PCs. But you know what they say 
about jacks of all trades... 
http://www.mpact.com/ 









ng special 


Want to play PC games on TV? This gives console quality 3D output on a TV screen 


The 3D Rage I chips has shown up on just about as 

T many motherboards as the ViRGE, including the 

Sony PC. But not content to rest on their laurels, 

ATI has already released a second generation, the 
3D Rage II. Besides increased 3D performance, the 
Rage II pairs itself with ATI’s ImpactTV chip, allowing 
for television output of all graphics modes 800x600 and less. 

The Rage II supports all the 3D features called for by Direct3D 
including anti-aliasing. Also, the Rage provides the best video 
acceleration we have ever seen. X andY interpolation is done 
flawlessly in hardware, allowing MPEG movies to be scaled to any size 
vwthout problem. Using the TV output to display an MPEG stream full- 
screen onto a TV resulted in a picture indistinguishable from VMS. 

Rage ll-based cards: 

ATI 3D Xpression+ PC2TV 
$ 189 (2MB), $2 19 (4MB) 

Rating: ★★★★ 

Manufacturer: Tl / 905.882.2600 / www.atitech.com 
Bundle: Mech Warrior 2. WipeOut, WIRL VRML browser. 
Photosuite Image Editor 


For just $129 more, you can add a TV tuner/video capture card to 
create a very inexpensive multi- 
media station. 

The 2D DOS and Windows 
performance of the Rage 2 is on 
par with the ViRGE, and the 3D 
has a a sight leg up, but it is not 
in the same league as the 
Rendition- or 3Dfx-powered 
cards. But if you’re interested in 
exploring video in/out 
applications, nothing else deals 
with it as well as the 3D Rage. 




Accelerated Mecfi Warrior II Is the 
show-horse for ATI. It looks great 


In a nutshell: The 2D performance is very good, video 
playback is the best anywhere, 3D is full-featured and solid if 
not spectacular, and the video in/out options are a blast. This 
card belongs on any short list. 


Matrox 


Want a card without those inessentials like antialiasing, or filtering? Try this 


atrox’s Millennium was the definitive 2D 
accelerator. Beyond being the near-ultimate 2D 
machine, the Millennium provided some bare- 
bones OpenGL compatible 3D acceleration. After 
releasing an accelerated version of NASCAR 
Racing, Matrox suddenly found itself in the heart of 

the games market 

The Millennium lacked features to deal with texture mapping, 
essential for modem games, so Matrox went to the drawing board and 
came up with the Mystique. And they almost got it right Maintaining 
the excellent DOS and Windows performance that made the 
Millennium a legend, the card provides some very fast 3D, with a catch. 

The Mystique does not support filtering, anti-aliasing, or fogging. 

Matrox-based cards: 

Matrox Mystique 
$179 (2MB) $279 (4MB) 

Rating: ir 

Manufacturer: Matrox / 514.969.6320 / www.matrox.com 
Bundle: Activision’s Mechwarrior 2,Virgin’s Scorched Planet, 
Psygnosis’ DD 2, Microsoft’s /Vionster Truck Madness (demo) 


Matrox argues that a well-written program can use higher 
resolution textures to get around the need for filtering, and special 
lighting effects to take the place of fog. And indeed a game written 
specifically for the Mystique can 
indeed look gorgeous. But game 
developers are not likely to focus 
their efforts on specific tricks just 
to support the Mystique. 

Matrox has given us a valiant 
effort, but because of the 
Mystique’s fatal flaw, the card has 
already earned the nickname of 
the “Mistake.” 


Destruction Derby II shows how 
good a game written for the 
Mystique can look 


In a nutshell: The Mystique is a solid performer with a few 
key pieces missing. The lack of filtering can be seen as nothing 
less than a fatal flaw. 


NEXT GENERATION February 1997 











NEXT GENERATION February 1997 


ng pccial 


62 



Intel’s AGP Standard 

The PCI bus just isn’t fast enough to move 
around the massive amounts of data 
needed to keep 3D scenes moving 
smoothly. To solve this problem. Intel has 
announced the Accelerated Graphics Port 
specification for a new bus to complement 
PCI. The plan is that it will provide a fast 
standard way for 3D cards to access main 
memory, without tying up the PCI bus. 

AGP support will require new 
motherboard designs and is not likely to 
see the light of day until the middle of the 
year. It should be common on PentiumPro 
systems by next holiday season, and every 
graphics chipset manufacturer has 
announced plans to support it when it 
becomes available. 
http://vvvvw.agpforum.org/ 


Real 3D 

The team that designed the Model 3 
Computer Graphics System that Sega uses 
in Virtua Fighter III has its eyes set on 
building a low-cost PC 3D-accelerator 
designed around Intel’s AGP bus. 

A 3D-only version of the Real 3D 
chipset will debut in a workstation graphics 
card, but details on the low cost 2D/3D 
accelerator remain sketchy. The soonest 
anything will be released could be when 
AGP makes its debut in mid-1997. 
http://www.real3d.com/ 


Talisman 

The dark horse in the race is the Talisman 
architecture announced by Microsoft last 
August. Though it is still nothing more 
than a design on paper.Talisman radically 
changes the way in which 3D is done. 

Rather than using brute force to 
calculate 3D scenes from scratch every 
frame.Talisman will do ever so slight 2D 
transforms to simulate 3D motion, only re¬ 
rendering in 3D whatever portions of a 
scene have changed enough to be 
noticeable. This greatly reduces the 
amount of calculations needed per frame, 
and should enable much greater scene 
complexity. According to Microsoft 
documents, the Talisman project will result 
in “performance rivaling high-end 3D 
graphics workstations... achieved at a cost 


point of two to three hundred dollars.” Of 
course, it remains to be seen what sort of 
actual working silicon will come out of this. 
And Microsoft’s lack of punctuality should 
not encourage breath holding. 
http://wvvw.microsoft.com/hwdev/devdes/ 

And the rest... 

Even more 3D chipsets are looming on the 
horizon. Silicon Reality has recently posted 
some very impressive specs for a Direct 
3D optimized engine core called TAZ. 
Phillips Semiconducter has announced a 


chip architecture called Big Cats.Trident 
Microsystems has announced plans for a 
3D chip designed to work with DVD 
systems, and Singapore’s TriTech 
Microelectronics has posted some jaw- 
dropping scenes on their web page they 
claim that their Pyramid chip can render in 
real time. Check this lot out: 
http://www.sireal.com/ 
http://www.semiconductors.philips.com/ 
http://www.trid.com/ 
http://www.tritech-sg.com/ 

In conclusion, here’s our take 

on your best purchase right now. 

It may be worthwhile to wait just long 
enough to take a close look at the cards 
on the near horizon, such as the PowerVR 
and the PIX. but there is little to be gained 
in waiting for the monster chipsets due in 
a year — now, finally, is the time to buy. A 
gamer’s best bet is probably one of the 
Verite-powered cards for their excellent 
3D, solid 2D. and great price. 

If you feel like going all out for that 3D 
experience, you can not beat the sheer 
muscle of a 3Dfx-powered accelerator, 
coupled with a good solid 2D board. 

If you’re itching to play on a big screen, 
the TV-out of the ATI 3Dxpression+ 

PC2TV is hard to top even if its 3D power 
lags the best. 

The Mystique is probably a mistake due 
to its lack of some essential features, but it 
does provide some excellent 2D and DOS 
games performance. The ViRGE-based 
cards are a mixed bag. Some have 
excellent 2D performance, as well as 
decent 3D muscle. If you find one with a 
good balance of price, performance, pack- 
ins, and features, it might be worthwhile. 

Our final word of advise — memory is 
cheap, so don’t even think of settling for 
less than 4MB on your accelerator. The 
extra supported graphics modes, color 
depths, and memory for 3D textures 
is worth the few extra bucks. I, ^ 



The team responsible for VF 3 is looking to 
make a similar 3D chipset for the home 


One final word of advice — memory is cheap, so 
don’t even think of settling for less than 4MB 




Next Generation OnUne. hllp:/ 



ng special 


Rendition Verite 

New driver code for its RISC code helps Rendition Verite chipsets overcome initial 
gripes about poor 2D performance. Is this the start of a standard? 


endition has turned a lot of heads with their V6rit6 

R chip, delivering excellent 3D performance at a 

great price. Initially dismissed as having poor 2D 
performance, thanks to it’s programmable RISC 
core, new micro<ode and drivers have given Verit6 
excellent SVGA performance and good to great 
Windows speed. The only thing that lags are straight VGA modes; 
performance there is a dog. Fortunately, few if any new games coming 
out are written for VGA; most have moved on to SVGA where the 
V6rite shines. 

TheV6rit6’s biggest claim to fame is that it is the exclusive home 
to accelerated Quake (at least until the Direct3D port is finished). And 
Quake does indeed shine on theV6rit6, running with 16-bit color at 
640x480 with filtered textures and anti-aliased edges. The Rendition 
version keeps getting faster and prettier every day too, be sure to 
check Rendition’s web site to download the latest patch to make sure 

Verite-based cards: 


Intergraph Reactor 
r $149 

Rating: ★★★ 

Manufacturer: Intergraph / 800.763.0242 / www.intergraph.com 
Bundle: Shareware Quote, Indy Car II, demos of Monster Truck 
Madness, and Hellbender 


you are experiencing the best http://vww.rendition.com/ 

All of the V6rit6 cards come with 4MB of memory standard and 
support Windows resolutions up to 1280x1024 with 16-bit color. 
They provide for scaled MPEG video playback, with good quality, but 
not quite as stellar as ATI’s. 




Cybergladlaton it rather plain without 3D acceleration, with K, it it 
gorgeout. 4i0 Tank needt acceleration to maximize texture ute 


In a nutshell: The Intergraph Reactor lacks the polished drivers 
and/or extra speed that have been wrung out of the other V6rit6 
cards, but they have compensated with very aggressive pricing. A 
4MBV6rit6 card for under $150 gives unprecedented bang for 
the buck, making this card definitely worth a look. 


Creative Labs 3D Blaster PCI 
SI 99 

, Rating: ★★★★ 

i Manufacturer: Creative Labs / 800.998.5227 / www.creativelabs.c: 
Bundle: Shareware Quake, Flight Unlimited, Rebel Moon, a 
slightly limited version of Battle Arena Toshinden 


In a nutshell: The Creative Labs 3D Blaster PCI uniquely 
supports the CGL API provided by the original 3D Blaster, so 
the few games released for that older board will continue to 
run. This is a solid board. 


Sierra Screamin’ 3D 
$199 

Rating: ★★★★ 

Manufacturer: Sierra On-Line / 206.649.9800 / www.sierra.com 
Bundle: Shareware Quoke, Indy Car Racing II, Silent Thunder:AlO 
Tank Killer, Cyber Gladiators 


In a nutshell: Sierra is entering the hardware market to try and 
help establish a standard for 3D acceleration, the same way they 
sold sound cards to push that as a standard feature years ago. 
Besides the excellent bundle of accelerated games, Sierra delivers 
optimized Windows drivers that run 20-30% faster than the 
standard ones provided by Intergraph and Creative Labs. 



Canopus Total 3d 
$279 

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Manufacturer: Canopus / 408.467.4000 / www.canopuscorp.com 
Bundle: Shareware Quake, Indy Car Racing II, Descent II, Whiplash, 3D 
LCD Shutter Glasses 

In a nutshell: Canopus built the card and wrote the drivers for 
Sierra, and now have release a powered accelerator of their own. 
They are using a 3.3 volt version of the V6rit6 chip that can be 


clocked at a slightly faster speed then the rest, and they have further 
optimized the Windows drivers Sierra is using, giving a little extra 
speed all around. Also, the Total 3D card has a sound spatializer built 
in to enhance your computers audio out, and a port to hook up 
included LCD shutter glasses. The included versions of Descent II 
and Whiplash have been modified to support the 3D glasses, and 
once your eyes adjust, the effea is stunning. 

If the audio circuitry and 3D glasses are just gimmicks to you, 
then the Total 3D is probably not worth the premium price. But if 
you want the absolute best of the Verite boards, this is the one to get 


NEX T G ENER ATION February 1997 













This rugged and mighty off-road 
behemoth can conquer any terrain. 


Well balanced off-road ability and on-road 
handling keep the Jeep in every race. 



Land Rover” 
Defender 90 


Chevrolet* 
K1500 Z71” 


Quick and agile, this V8-powered 
import can negotiate the tightest 
spots due to its compact stature. 


Extraordinarily powerful and surprisingly 
controllable-a true off-road monster! 



Conquer The World’s 
Most Wicked Terrain! 



12 tracks test your off-road skills. 
Negotiate treacherous terrain as you 
battle for the checkered flag! 



Three unique environments: 
Desert, Snow, and Forest affect 
the way your car handles and 
maximize gameplay. 

Four ways to race: SINGLE RACE, 

FULL-SEASON, CLASS LEAGUES, 
and MIXED LEAGUES. 



View the action from 
any of 9 camera views 
selectable on the fly! 


Engage in wild MULTI-PLAYER 
ACTION via network, modem, or 
split-screen racing. 


“...like Need For Speed"" In an off-road environment” 

-Computer Gaming World 



Test Drive is a trademark of Accolade, Inc. Q 1996 Accolade, Inc. 



All rights reserved. Developed by Elite Systems. The Land Rover 
name and logo are trademarks of Rover Group Limited used 
under license. Hummer and Humvee are the registered trade¬ 
marks of A.M. General Corporation. JEEP and Jeep grille design 
are registered trademarks of Chrysler Corporation. U.SJ^. and 
are used under license. XCHRYSLER CORPORATION 1996. 
Chevrolet K-1500 Z71 and Body Design are trademarks of 
Chevrolet Motor Division. General Motors Corporation, used 
under license by Accolade. Inc. The Need For Speed is a trade¬ 
mark of Electronic Arts. 









m 


MINEOLA, NY—Lucky Long Islander 
Pat Harris has encountered plenty of 
killer dogs on his postal route over the 
years, but never any killer space 
aliens—until now! “I was just minding 
my own business, delivering Mrs. 
Panayatocopoulos' mail when these 
space guys ask me if I want to go for a 
ride.” Suddenly, Harris was transported 
to a bizarre bar full of creepy-crawly 
space critters! Then the wacky E.T.’s 
made Harris enter the minds of space 
port bar patrons—including a man- 
sized worm thing—to retrieve dues that 
ultimately led space police to a 
shapeshifting serial killer! Sadly, after 
returning from the minds of various 
insect-like aliens, Harris is left with a 
life-long legacy of flashbacks that 
cause him to eat maggots and simulate 
molting. But for Harris, it’s a small 
price to pay for intergalactic glory! 


Inm 

ymm 
mm 

( ^SegaS»ft^ 

www.segasoft.com 


I want to go back to Armpit VI. There, I m an 
intergalactic hero. But here, I’m just another 
disgruntled mailman that’s been abducted by 
aliens,” reveals sentimental galaxy-trotter Harris. 


In a strange twist of fate, the mail Hams was supposed to 
deliver to Steve Meretzky—creator of ‘The Space Bar,” 
“The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” and numerous 
other science fiction games—ended up in the 
“hands” of a wide-eyed resident of planet Armpit VI. 






For a free Windows “95 demo 
or to order The Space Bar 
Mac'OS direct, calM.888.SegaSoft rWit" 


Just another CD-ROM game 
where you’re a psychic gumshoe detective 
trying to solve a murder by mind-melding 
with drunken aliens. 






































Unreal PC CD-ROM Mace: The Dark Ages Arcade 10th Planet PC CD-ROM Gambare Goemon N64 
Perfect Striker Nintendo 64 British Open Golf PC CD-ROM Doom 64 Nintendo 64 SFRush Arcade 


Previews brought down from the Mountain 



hird-person action games like Tomb 
Raider may have taken center stage, 
but the first-person genre still has 
some life left. Check our exclusive 


coverage of Epic's Unreal, an all 3D action 
title which could outdo Quake. Also, read 
over what Williams has in store for the 
Nintendo 64 version of Doom. 

Meanwhile, Bethesda Softworks 
already has one of the better first-person 
shooters, SkyNET, so now it's teaming up 
with the special effects house behind 
Independence Day for the next word in 
space combat sims, 10th Planet. 


68 Unreal PC CD-ROM. NINTENDO 64 


Epic Megagames has a new 3D, first- 
person shooter, and calls it the Quake killer 


75 Epic MegaGames 


A conversation with the Unreal team about 
MMX, Direct3D, Nintendo 64, and Quake 


78 British Open Golf pc 


Rex Bradford, who all but invented PC golf, 
turns to the oldest course in the world 


81 Doom 64 NINTENDO 64 


With the N64 at its disposal, Williams is 
confident that this is the best Doom yet 


88 SF Rush ARCADE 


As in San Francisco. A new arcade racer 
from still-alive-and-kicking Atari games 


93 Gambare Goemon N64 


One of Konami's longest-running characters 
takes his stab at a 3D adventure 


99 Mace arcade 


This new 3D brawler looks great — but is 
that enough to push it ahead of the pack? 


104 Perfect Striker n64 


Konami ups the number of N64 sports 
games by one with this soccer sim 


107 Shadow Warriors pc 


The designers of Duke Nukem are back 
with a new 3D shooter that's even bloodier 


110 lOth Planet pc 



67 


Bethesda Softworks shows us what could 
be the best space combat sim of the year 


Next Generation Online, http://www.next-generation.com/ 


NEXT GENERATION February 1997 









































ng alphas 



Yeah, it's another first-person shooter; yes, it's 
got a female hero; and OK, sure, it has 
polygonal enemies — so why does Epic 
MegaGames' latest look so cool? 


Format: PC CD-ROM 

Publisher: GT Interactive 

Developer: Epic MegaGames 

Release Date: June 1997 

Origin: U.S. 



I he history of 
videogames is 
marked by both 
sudden, 

groundbreaking 
I originality, and long 
periods of rip-off copycats. At first 
glance, l/nrea/would seem to fall 
into the latter category. It is, after 
all, a 3D, first-person shooter, and 
despite the genre's recent addition 
of polygonal enemies, it may be 
fast approaching the limit of its 
creative possibilities. 

However, after seeing only a few 
seconds of Unreal in action, you 
realize there's more going on here 




Look close folks, because this could be history in the making. WKh its extremely high-resolution textures, high polygon 
count enemies, and smooth character animation. Epic’s Unreal could be the 3D shooter to beat in 1997 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next.generation.com/ 


69 


NEXT GENERATION February 1997 



















I 

i 

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70 


ng alphas 




Familiar perspective, 
knockout detail — is Unreal 
the game that has It all? 


than at first meets the eye. The 
design team humbly refers to Unreal 
as "The Quake Killer/' and they may 
well be right. 

To begin with, the game is built 
around one of the fastest, most 
flexible and sophisticated 3D engines 
ever designed, running at high 
resolution in 16-bit color. It boasts 
real-time, multi-colored, and 
extremely dynamic multiple light 
sourcing and sports a huge number 
of the most highly detailed texture 
maps Next Generation has yet seen 
in a game. 

Even with the new technology, 
however, the game is still firmly first- 


Taking the Doom hack to the next logical step, the Epic 
team’s own, full-featured level editor is planned for 
general release to the public shortly after the game 
itself hits the shelves — hey, we want one 


1 °^ ~ 3 

EB rm □ 


‘'We’re going 
to have a 
male and a 
female hero, 
and maybe try 
to get an ‘X- 
Fiies’ thing 
happening” 


POM W 

“3 Mod^MovaCa 


person. "Yeah, we 
like this perspective," 
says Tim Sweeney, 
Unreal's lead 
programmer. "The 
main problem I have 
with, say, Mario 64 is 
that you often get 
into these confusing 
bits where you wish 
the camera would go 
a certain way and it 
doesn't, or no matter 
how you move the 
camera, it's never 
quite right." 


The player 

takes the role of a 
prisoner who, while 
being transferred, 
crash-lands on an 
alien planet. A war 
between two sentient 
races has been raging on the planet 
for years, and, thanks to the planet's 
core of an element called Turitium, 
other equally hostile alien races have 
been crashing there with appalling 
regularity as well. Now the player is 
stuck in the middle of it, struggling 
for survival and trying to escape. 


A female hero was 

originally slated for the game. 
However, according to co-designer 
Cliff Bleszinski, "Although when we 
started, we thought having a female 
character would be revolutionary, 
now everyone's doing it, so we're 
going to have a male and a female. 



Next Generation OnUne, http;//www.next'^eneration.com/ 


































ng alphas 



and maybe get a kind of 'X-Files' 
thing going on — except I think the 
guy's going to be bald and the woman 
will have tattoos." 



The sheer speed and beauty 

of the game's engine has been 
enhanced by Intel's new MMX 
processor instruction set. While this 
doesn't speed up 
the rendering 
directly, it does 
add to the 
game's detail 
and realism in 
startling ways. 
Bleszinski 
explains, "For 
one thing, MMX 
enables us to 
mix colored 
lights. So if you 
have 


UnreaFs Predator-inspired critters are known as the Skarj, pronounced 
“scar” — for no apparent reason, the “J” is siient. Ck> figure 



a room lit in orange torchlight, with 
a blue light coming through the 
door, and you shoot a green fireball, 
it will all blend perfectly. The colored 
lights still work on a regular 
Pentium, but it's going to be more 
sector-based and doesn't shade over 
quite the same." 

Mark Rein, Unreal's marketing 
director, adds, "All you have to do is 
look at it, at how much better the 
textures look in 16- and 24-bit color 
and the way it blends, look at the 
water, and how much better the 
transparency is — that's a lot of 
what we use MMX for. If you don't 
have an MMX machine,you're not 
going to know you're missing 
something, but if you do have MMX 
— it sure looks nice." 

MMX instructions also help 
smooth and filter the game's 
numerous, detailed textures, of which 
the team is justifiably proud. "A lot 
of them are 128x128," Sweeney 
says, "but some are as much as 
512x512 for textures that align 
and repeat. Some special ones are 
even bigger." 

James Schmalv adds, "In fact, 
while we were testing how different 
things affected the frame rate, I 
thought,'OK, let's try Quake-sized 
textures,' which are more modestly 
sized. Just to see if it made Unreal 
any faster. Turns out there's a whole 
3% speed increase, but we figured, 
'Well, at least our way we've got four 
times the detail!"' 

Thanks to the large number of 
different alien space wrecks, each of 
the game's planned 30 single-player 





We've said it before, but 
these stiii screens can’t 
do the animation justice 


I 

i 

I 


71 


Next Generation OnUne, http://wvrw.next-generation.com/ 






















NEXT GENERATION February 1997 


ng alphas 


Most exciting 
is a speciai 
feature that 
Epic wants to 
reiease to the 
pubiic: the 
team’s own 
ievei editor 


levels have a wide variety of different 
looks. And, thanks to the 16-bit color 
palette, they're not just different 
shades of gray and brown, they 
feature lots of colorful (if still quite 
subdued and moody) corridors and 
rooms. Outdoor scenes link the levels, 
so progress is seamless with no breaks 
in the game's considerable action. 

The action, however, is set off by a 
series of puzzles and other tasks that 
neatly avoid the "button-door" affairs 
common in the genre. Instead, the 
game is more like a 3D Metroid in 
structure, with different special 
objects that must be found to progress 
to new areas. 

A different set of levels are 
designed for multiplayer combat. 
"Designing a level that works for both 
multiplayer and single-player is like 
building a car that goes on the water," 
Bleszinski cracks. "It's Just stupid." 

Most exciting is a special 

feature that Epic MegaGames wants 
to release to the public: the team's 



You know K’s a really bad day when aliens start dropping from the sky 


own level editor. Rein explains, "What 
we hope to do is include an 
unsupported, feature limited version 
of the level editor. Cut out all the 
dangerous stuff — like what's still 
buggy at the time of release or needs 


M 



What you get to do: Shoot with gun, shoot with D-pad, shoot with D-pad and partner, shoot with gun and partner, 

01997 SegaSoft Inc. Al received. SegaSoft and the SegaSoA logo are tiademaitQ ol SegaSoft Inc. Sega is regisleied in the US. Patent and Tiadamark Office. Sega Saturn is a trademaiit of Sega. Scud: The OisposaMe Assassin, the character 


















ng alphas 



to be simplified — but give something 
with the game to spark interest. Later 
we'll release a stand-alone version 
with a really fat manual and a lot of 
pre-built brushes and textures and 
sound effects. We'll 'product-ize' it 
and make it easy to use, because we 
want people to be able to use this and 
not have to be rocket scientists." 

The Epic team hopes that 

by releasing the editor, the level 
hacking that began with Doom wili go 
to the next level, giving thousands of 
eager Unreal fans the chance to design 
and implement their own worlds and 
concepts. The editor is sophisticated 
enough to enable nearly anyone to 
import their own textures and build 
practically any structure, with a 
scripting language for making puzzles. 

So, in conclusion, if Unreal 
accomplishes nothing other than 
putting game design into the hands of 
gamers, it will have made its mark in 
history, and may well be a r"^ 
smashing game to boot. 


lot of the 
texture maps 
are 128x128, 
but some 
repeating 
textures are 
512x512 — 
special ones 
are even 
bigger.” 

Tim Sweeney, Lead Programmer 


shoot with D-pad and gun, shoot with gun in each hand. What you don’t get to do; Recite poetry, pick daisies, hug lovable stuffed animals. 

irrd Surreality Just Got Funky are trademarks of Rob Schrab.VAxIows is a tiadeiiiafkoIMKTOSonCoip. FOR A FREE WINDOWS ‘95 DEMO OR TO ORDER SCUD DIRECT, CALL 1.888.SEGASOFT WWW.SEGASOFT.COM SEGAS^FT™ 



NEXT GENERATION February 1997 



























Give your 

Ey6S something 

JO scream 

about. 


Absolute 3D graphics. You want them to scream. 


You want them to be real. You want them to be $3(1.“ 


The What: The S3d acceleration chip makes y 


games. Internet 3D, and all Windows applications 


dance. When you match S3d logo hardware with 



S3d logo software, you get the best 2D graphics, 
the most realistic 3D, and an affordable price. 


The Where: Seek S3d on computer systems 



like Compaq, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and 


^^ckard Bell. Find S3d on accelerator boards 


from Diamond Multimedia, Number Nine, 


and STB. Demand S3d on games from 


Interplay, Activision, Eidos, and Mindscape. 


so real it screams. 


Microsoft ^ 

Windows95 


S3d is compatible with Windows 95. 
Windows 3.1. Windows NT, and OS/2. 




ng alphas 


An interview with 



Epic MegaGames 


add that later. 

NG: Why a first-person shooter? 

JS: Well, it's changed a lot over the 
years. Once the editor started looking 
good, we knew we were going to set it 
mostly indoors, because it was so easy 
to make the indoor stuff look good... 
MR: Well, the thing is, the indoor stuff 
is actually harder to do. 

NG: Why? 

MR: Just because you see so much 
more detail. The engine has to move 
really fast, and you need detailed 
textures because you can get really 
close to stuff indoors. Outdoors, stuff 
is generally farther away. 

On the other hand, there's a lot of 
limitations doing outdoor stuff you 
just can't get around. Indoors there's lots of 


ucked away in a nondescript 
office complex in Rockville, 
Maryland is the office of 
Epic Megagames, the 
company responsible for the 
Unreal project. Next 
Generation drops in on the Unreal team — 
marketing director Mark Rein, lead designer 
James Schmalv, co-designer Cliff Bleszinski, 
and lead programmer Tim Sweeney — and 
probes the design process... 

Next Generation: Unreal has been in 
development for three years. How did it start? 
James Schmalv: I made the terrain first. A 
Magic Carpet-type terrain. 

Mark Rein: Oh yeah! This is funny: the first 
thing we ever had was the outdoor terrain, 
and we haven't had it since! [laughs] But it is 
going back in the game. DMA is going to use 
one of its SGI terrain editors to design it. 

JS: I was experimenting with a cavern-set, 
robot-type game, and I progressed to the 
continuous mesh technique that we have now, 
so I changed it from caverns to outdoors. By 
then I had these polygon creatures, like this 
dragon flying around — that was the first 
good polygon creature we made up. From 
there we added buildings, and Tim got into 
making this editor for doing the buildings — 
after that, it took off and just became, 
obviously, incredible, [laughs] So I started 
focusing on the creatures and the artwork, 
and Tim took over the engine. Cliff came on... 
Because the editor was making it so easy to 
put together the structures, we had the tool to 
make the indoor areas, so there was less focus 
on the outdoor stuff. But like Mark said, we'll 


ways to trick the user's eye. It's really 
amazing, but some of the most detailed 
scenes in Unreal, you're only looking at 50 to 
80 polygons — the details are in the textures 
and the lighting. We're trying to get more 
and more polygons in there, but the details 
are really in the lighting. 

To do Unreal's lighting on a machine like 
the Nintendo 64 would require way more 
polygons, because a lot of these 3D 
accelerators light whole polygons, they don't 
light regions. What Tim does with these little 


8x8 areas of the screen — I mean, each 
individual area of the screen that you can 
assign how much light there is, they're only 
eight pixels by eight pixels. That's really 
small, which is why the lighting is so smooth, 
because you can't really see the gradations in 
it.There's really only 64 levels of light. 

NG: Moving to the Nintendo 64 version... 
MR: We still have to get Nintendo's approval 
on everything, but we're working on it. We're 
already coding the engine. 

NG: Given that you have a very large number 
of high resolution textures, will fitting them 
all into a cartridge be a problem? 

MR: Well, we'll have to reduce the 
dimensions of the textures, so they'll be 
scaled down quite a bit, but with the bi-linear 
filtering, you can get away with much lower 
resolution textures and it will look just as 


good. Plus you're also playing at a much 
lower screen resolution. With the Nintendo 
64 and other systems that have only a few 
megs of RAM, we'll probably have to make 
some compromises — limit the number of 
unique textures per level, maybe cut the 
levels up a bit — but for the most part I 
think folks will be surprised how good 
Unreal looks on that system. Nintendo 64's 
a heck of a powerful system, and since we're 
hoping to do Unreal for the 64DD drive, 
storage hopefully won't be a problem. We're 
going to have, well, I don't know exactly 
with compression, but many, many megs. 

NG: So Unreal's not an N64 cart? 

MR: I think we could do Unreal as a cart, but 
I don't think we want to do Unreal as a cart, 
because we want to keep the monster amount 
of detail. We want to keep the levels intact. 
There's a limit even with the disk, because you 
load each level's textures as you load the 
level, but we don't want to have the same 
look over and over again, and that's the 
problem with a cart. LucasArts can do 
Shadows of the Empire now and sort of get 
away with it because there's very few games 
now, but later on when there's lots of games, 
you won't be able to. 

NG: Getting back to the PC, when did you 
first get excited about MMX? 

MR: It's kind of funny. Intel had heard 


about Unreal, and they invited us to 
Portland to show it — like Microsoft, they 
support developers really well — and we 
showed it to their engineers and OEM people 
and marketing people... 

JS: Back then it was just the outdoor 
terrain and the dragon... 

MR: After the meeting the Intel people came 
back in with a stack of non-disclosure 
agreements about MMX.They told us about 
it, because I don't think they actually had 
chips at the time — I think they've been 
working on it for about six years, so it's not 
something they just threw together — but 
they told us about it, and Tim was really 
excited because he knew immediately what it 
could do, and they seemed to feel that Tim 
was the kind of guy who could really make it 
shine. So before they even had a working 



We could do Unreal as a Nintendo 64 cart, but we 
want to do it for the 64DD disk drive, because we 
want to keep the monster amount of detaii 


75 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 


NEXT GENERATION February 1997 












NEXT GENERATION February 1997 


ng alphas 


version they came and taught us what the 
instruction sets do. Tim picked that up right 
away. He wrote the code on paper the night 
after they came and had a fully working MMX 
version of the rendering code before we even 
had the chip! Several months later they sent 
us an emulator, which enabled a Pentium to 
run MMX code — speed-wise it wasn't frames 
per second, it was seconds per frame, but it let 
us test the code — and it worked, his code 
actualiy worked the first time! 

But MMX is serious technoiogy. Intel told 


us right from the get-go that every one of their 
chips is going to have MMX, and that's what 
really piqued our interest. See, that's the 
problem with, say, 3D accelerator cards. 
Direct3D isn't ready enough for prime time 
that you can just generically support it and 
everybody's card works well. But with MMX, 
there's no question about supporting it, 
because in five years, everyone who's got an 
Intel processor will have these instructions. 
NG: Then how has 3D-card support been? 

M R: At the end of last summer, we got a 
first-generation 3D card — and I don't want 
to name the vendor, because it was first-gen 
and that's not really fair — but Tim coded a 
patch for it, just played around because he 
was intrigued by it, and in about eight hours 
got Unreal io run on it. It had bi-linear 
filtering, so it looked good, and it ran at a 
constant 35 fps, which was great until you 
added the lighting. The trouble was that in 
order to get the lighting to work the way we 
do it, you had to run every frame twice. Since 
the frame rate was constant, that means we 
were getting 17 frames per second. Which, 
you know, we Just weren't going to do. 

NG: Why draw it twice? 

Tim Sweeney: Well, every light can be 
dynamic, so you can have wild lights turning 
on and off or pulsing or whatever. And to get 
shadows, you have to draw it once for the 
textures and twice to get the lighting effects 
over it. If you compare it to Quake, it's a lot 
more sophisticated. You get a slight 
performance hit, but we made a conscious 
decision to do it that way because you get so 
much more detail. And the process works well 
in software, but when you run that through 
hardware, it just renders the whoie thing 
again. By the time Unreal ships, I think there 
wiii be some really capable cards that might 
be fast enough, but right now it's not an issue. 
JS: Yeah, because we're supporting Direct3D 
CD3D] at least, so if you have a card it will 
run on it. It's just a question of how much 
better that will run over software only. 


TS: Well, D3D does the job. You know, some 
of these different cards have a bunch of cool 
features that D3D just doesn't access. It's a 
problem because what really counts is what 
people have, and unfortunately that's not clear. 
But at least D3D is good because it sets a 
standard, and maybe it's not a great standard, 
but without one I think the market wouldn't 
get anywhere. It'd be like the way sound cards 
were under DOS. 

JS: Maybe supporting some of them directly 
might be the thing to do... 


MR: If the card vendors want to give us 
money to support them! [laughs, leans into 
microphone] If they want direct support and 
they want to pay for it, they can call me 
direct, Mark Rein, that's R-E-I-N! 

NG: Obviously Unreal is going to be compared 
to Quake. What are you doing to beat it? 

Cliff Bleszinski: I think if you think of Quake 
as a car, it's like a really good base model that 
runs really fast. With Unreal, we're hoping to 
give you air conditioning, power brakes, power 
steering, and a real sense of style that's 


si 

EPIC 



lacking in some of those other games. 

TS: We've got to come up with a game that's 
better and different. If peopie look at it and go, 
“Hey, it's 20% better than Quake," then we've 
failed to do anything significant. We've got to 
do things that distinguish Unreal. We've added 
morphing characters. Imagine changing into 
some giant creature with lots of power, like a 
dragon. That adds a lot to game play. 

Also, we're making the level editor 
available to the public, and it's very user- 
friendly. I think the one goai I have is to bring 
level editing into the mainstream. Id started 
the trend with Doom and Quake by making 
them hackable to the point where people could 
create their own editors, but they're not very 
easy to use. With Unreal, we couid wind up 
selling half as many copies of the editor as of 
the game.That becomes especially important 


with Internet play, where people can create 
their own levels, write their own scripts for the 
puzzles, and create their own new, cool stuff. 
Seeing what other peopie can do is incredibiy 
fun for a game deveioper. 

NG: Given that you're bringing level editing 
into the mainstream, with 10,000 monkeys 
hammering at 10,000 keyboards, aren't you 
worried that by the time you're working on a 
sequel, you'll have already been outdone? 

TS: If the community is outdoing what we're 
doing, our sequel won't do that well, but we'll 
be selling so many editors and making so 
much money, we won't care! 

JS: And if somebody's that good, we'll 
probably just hire them anyway! 

MR: The other thing is, for the sequel, we'll 
certainly have new technologies, the next rev 
of the engine, a whole bunch of new features 
that can't be added through an editor for 
Unreal 1. But that's the challenge: create 
something new that peopie will want to play, 
and then create new stuff based on that 
technology. I think id wili go through the same 
thing with Quake — the challenge is to make 
Quake new, make it better next time so peopie 
want to try it all over again. 

NG: So you see Unreal 2 differently from the 
way id saw Doom II or Heretic II — that is, 
not roughly the same engine with new levels 
and new enemies? 

TS: Yeah. Especially today with the Internet 
and peopie talking about games and sequels. 
There's a lot more information and ideas 
being shared. You reaily have to up the 
stakes every time. 

CB: I think with this genre of game, in order 
for it to advance, you need to take a few 
risks. We're going to have fast, hot, 3D 
action, but we're going to have lots of people 
slow the game down and find ways to kill 
people in creative way. 

JS: Look at how we use moving 3D brushes. 
You can just imagine the different ways 
designers will come up with to manipulate 
those. Quake doesn't even have them, and that 
really gives a different feel to our game. 

NG: How does the gore level compare? 

CB: We're going to have a lot of blood. 

MR: Gee, I don't know... [laughs] How much 
does everyone think GT wili allow? 

JS: Some shocking stuff is in the game... 

CB: Religious symbolism. A lot of blood. I 
mentioned the other day, when somebody 
really gets shot a lot of blood goes flying, 
and it's more than in most of these games... 
TS: Yeah — arterial spray... 

JS: And when the player dies we're going to 
have these Virtua Fighter-Wke spinning pans, 
watch them twitching and bleeding to death... 
CB: We'd like to have a lot of that blood 
flying everywhere... 

M R: Something for the whole family... — 
CB: Yeah. Death is cool. LL^ 


That’s the challenge: create something new that 
people will want to play, and then create new 
stuff based on that technology 


Next Generatlan Online, http://www.next-generatlon.com/ 


















• 500-iiorsepo«er tower of Aaericaxi pig iron, punch it when the 
ou're in for the biggest race of your life. Drag. Circuit. Sally. 
Lt any lewel. Over any kind of terrain. On or off the track. You 
can eren force-feed your buddies aud pies over the Internet. 

So go Go GO to 

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TRUCK " 


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Where do you want to go today?' 


Down & Dirty Racing! 


01996 Microsoft Corporation. Ali rights reserved. Microsoft and Where do you want to go today? are registered trademarks and Monster Truck Madness is a trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. 
©1996 Terminal Reality, Inc. All rights reserved. All other products and company names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners. 










NEXT GENERATION February 1997 


ng alphas 


78 


British Open Golf 



One of the originators of PC golf turns to simulating 
the legendary birthplace of the sport, St. Andrews. Can 
Looking Glass successfully take golf into the future? 



I oIf.The sheer number 
and steady sales of 
computer golf games 
through the years 
testifies to their 
' popularity.Teed up 
against EA's PGA Tour Golf and 
Access's Links, this new golf game from 
Looking Glass hopes to carve out its own 
niche by focusing on the course where 
(legend has it) golf was bom. 

British Open Golfls being overseen 
by Looking Glass Project Director Rex 
Bradford. No stranger to golf sims, 
Bradford developed the first PC golf sim 
in 1986, a down-the-fairway view, Mean 
18. Mean 18 was the first golf sim to 
feature a swing meter. It's arguable that 
Bradford is the one man most directly 
responsible for the modem PC golf game 
— even if he isn't so sure himself. "It's 
really unknown to me," Bradford says 
modestly, "to what extent the designers 
at Access, who came out with 
Leaderboard a few months later, were 
already doing something similar, versus 
being influenced by my design." 

British Open features two courses, St. 
Andrews and Royal Troon. According to 
Bradford, the game captures the essence 
of actually playing in the British Open. 
"In other golf games, you're on what I 
call 'The Lonely Planet Of Golf,"' 
Bradford says. "We're bringing the feei of 
playing in a real championship. As you 
come down the stretch of the 18th hole 
at St. Andrews, the crowds in the 


British Open features the 
same stereo-mapping 
graphic technique used to 
create the superb visuals 
of night Unlimited 


In all other 
golf games, 
you’re 
basically on 
what I call 
"^The Lonely 
Planet Of 
Golf” 


Format: PC CD-ROM 

Publisher: Looking Glass 

Developer: Looking Glass 

Release Date: March 1997 

Origin: U.S. 



grandstands cheer you on and the caddy 
gives you advice. You get the television- 
style ambiance of being in that moment." 

These historic courses 

demand a lot from the game's graphics 
and enhance gameplay. "The courses are 
pretty rough, with undulations, tiny hills, 
and swales," Bradford says, noting the 
special modeling required to capture the 
topography. "It's an important part of 
playing the courses because you get a lot 
of funny hops off of them." 

Bradford suggests a low-end Pentium 
for the game, which is a native Win 95 
product. With 18 months development 
time, Bradford's team has caught up to 
and surpassed competitors. "We're 
hoping to make a splash," he says. 

Given the number of water hazards 
on many courses, it's a sound that —^ 
gamers will have to get used to. 



British Open will 
incorporate 4,000 lines 
of audio commentary, with 
Jim McKay providing the 
color commentary, and a 
British shot analyst 
providing the 
play-by-play analysis 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generatlon.com/ 




























The realistic sights, sounds, 
psychology and art of fly fishing 

come to life on - 

CD-ROM, in this 

challenging multi- WINDOWS 95 
level skill game. 


T ired of catching bass? Ready for a challenging fishing sim? Welcome to the relaxing and challenging world of fly 
fishing on your PC. The Art of Fly Fishing Volume I recreates this skillful sport using live videotaped footage. 
Fish three of the United Kingdom s finest trout and salmon ri\’ers: the Blackwater, Spey and Test. With the sooth¬ 
ing sounds of nature and the intricacies of choosing the right equipment and flies, this fishing simulation puts you 
right in the water. 

The Art of Fly Fishing is not just a fun fishing simulation; it also contains an extensive lihrar>' of information to 
help you learn more about the fish, their habitat and their heha\-ior. Choose your fishing spot based on conditions 
including time of day, season, temperature and water currents. Once you’ve chosen the right conditions, a variety of 
flies and rods will help you land the fish of your dreams, provided your casting skill is up to par. After you’ve prac¬ 
ticed, invite up to 5 friends to enter into a fishing competition where the winner receives a cash prize and the 
opportunity to upgrade his equipment. The Art of Fly Fishing; the only fly fishing simulation for your PC. 

To order, see your local retailer or call 1-800-340-7888 


PHILIPS 


©1996 Arc Development. Published 
by Gametek, Inc. Distributed by 
Philips Media. All rights reserved 
















^'^''et, an ui 
^“Perience fro, 


'**6'-/^ diffei 
"" a// t/,e /oc 

-mSDAY 


and 

^3n>ej... 


The good news is you’re a lot smarter than the guy on 
considering you’ll have to solve more than 60 puzzles ii 
the twisted, clay-animated world of Neverhood. You’l 
pitfalls, collect clues, and kick a little clay butt. All to 


I^^E^UyiWitWKS bring the Neverhood back to normal. At least, as 

IN'lliRAOI'lVE normal as it ever gets. [www.DreamWorks6ames.com] 3 C.[a^ \>fP3k‘i 


ng alphas 


Doom 64 





Is this "original gangster'' of first-person 
shooters still an ace in the hole? 


Getting up close and personal with the hell dwellers looks to be far 
superior on Nintendo 64, as enemies won’t pixelize nearly as much 


"The levels are true 3D 

polygon models/'says Midway's Head 
Artist Sukru Gilman, in response to the 
comparison, "but we went with sprites 
instead of polygon monsters." As the 
monsters are prerendered using SGI 
workstations, Gilman believes they look 
better than the blocky 3D enemies seen 
in other games."But the main reason," 
Gilman continues, "is we didn't want to 
limit the gameplay. You can have a lot 
more monsters chasing you. You can 
open up the door, and 60 monsters can 
come out, as opposed to 3D polygon 
monsters, where you can only fight two 
or three at one time." 

While most iterations of Doom have 
been ports of standard Id-designed 
levels, Midway has started this project 
from scratch, with approximately 30 
newly designed levels."There'll be new 


Format: Nintendo 64 

Publisher: Midway _ 

Developer: Midway _ 

Release Date: March 1997 

Origin: U.S. 

monsters, new weapons, and the levels 
are a lot larger," says Midway's Randy 
Estrella, Head Level Designer. 

"We work with Id hand-in-hand," 
adds Mike Abbot, Vice President of 
software who's in charge of the Doom 
64 project, "but all the levels and art 
have originated here at Midway." Abbot 
concedes that Id recommends changes 
every once in a while, "But our art and 
levels stand on their own," he contends. 
"Id's been quoted as saying they're the 
best they've ever seen." 


Most iterations of Doom have been 
ports of id-designed ieveis, but 
Midway has started from scratch 

It seems the Midway/Id relationship 
hasn't posed any real problems to the 
development of Doom 64. When asked 
if Nintendo had problems with the 


Every weapon is rendered, 
and they pop from the 
screen like never before 


oom, the 
Godfather of 
first-person 
shooters (the 
grandfather 
would have to 
be Id's first and lesser renowned Castle 
Wolfenstein 3D), has shown up on every 
possible platform over the last four 
years. So was Final Doom a misnomer? 
Evidently so, as Midway (formerly 
known as Williams) harnesses the 
Nintendo 64's much vaunted polygon 
power for a 3D Doom. 


81 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 


NEXT GENERATION February 1997 















NEXT GENERATION February 1997 


ng alphas 


82 





As opposed to games that feature polygonal enemies, Doom 64 features pre¬ 
rendered, sprlte^Msed enemies, and can flood the screen with monsters 


From the pistol to the BFG, 
most of Doom’s weapons 
will be familiar to players 


violent nature of the game (in light of 
Nintendo's emasculation of Doom for 
Super NES, Wolfenstein 3D before 
that, and its recent decision to remove 
the roadkill animation from Midway's 
Cruis'n USA port), Abbot insists he 
hasn't heard any complaints. "Nintendo 
will not be a problem," he says, "they 
bought Cruis'n, it's their game, it's their 
deal. Doom's our game, so we have 
more leverage." 

'^Cruis'n is different. It's more a 
family game." adds Gilman. "In this 
game, there's nothing Nintendo can do. 
It's all about killing; you can't get 
around that." 

We agree, and going in 

head-first, guns blazing, is much of what 
makes Doom so attractive. But at this 
stage in the overall lifespan of Doom, the 
game's strength is also its weakness. 
Offering tried-and-true gameplay. Doom 
64 strictly adheres to the game's original 
play mechanics, so don't expect to see 
any of the genre's later innovations, like 
jumping or aiming the gun up or down. 
However, Midway has made other 
innovations that go beyond the aesthetic. 

"The programmers have 
incorporated new tag macros into the 
original engine," says Abbot. "So it 
allows the level designers to do much 
more scripting with the levels, making it 
more interesting for gameplay," he says. 

"With Nintendo 64's scripting 
capabilities, a lot of different things can 
happen at one time," Estrella says 
jumping in. "The player can see a room's 


As in past Doom games, there’s occasionally going to be one of those 
monsters stuck behind a cage Just waiting to be shot 


architecture change, mechanisms can 
come down from above, and say, press 
out the walls and reveal a staircase." 


""It’s all about killing^ you can’t get 

around that” Sukni ailman, Head Artist 


Estrella pauses before adding effectively, 
"It's really impressive." 


"You can't compare this 

to Doom on any other platform," 
Estrella claims with an air of finality. 
"Everything has been enhanced a lot, 
well beyond compare." 

But compared to what? The first 
wave of third-party developed Nintendo 
64 titles have all seemed sub¬ 
standard ( Cruis'n, Kiiler Instinct, 
Shadows of the Empire), and 
Doom 64 will have to offer 
something truly great to once 
again get gamers excited. 
Nintendo 64 

certainly needs it. LlM 


Next Generation OnUne, http;//www.next-generation.com/ 

















cocky 2-D arcade shooter. 
Today, you totally suck. 


We hate to break the rude news, but you're about to be hunr^bled. 
It’s the 23rd century. Nano-robots are on the rampage. And 
you've gotta deep-six hundreds of vicious killing machines and 
eight virtually indestructible nano-bosses. The gcxxl news is you 

can run. The bad news is, in this 3-D world, you -^— 

can forget about hiding in comers. At 30 FPS, ZTL' ^ ^ 

it's a 32-bit firestorm of nonstop death and Q 


destruction. Where the fighting is fast and funous enough to turn 
you into a certified junkie. With progressively difficult levels and 
an intense play environment, NanoTek Wamor offers awesome 
replay value. Which means just nnaybe, by the turn of the century, 
-^- 1 you'll be back to your same old cocky self. 


.com 


NanoTek 

Wannor 


C1996\»^lnl8i«awEn Ma nrentlrcMngtei«eral>OTli»W.i«r8 3tBdenat<(i(teta8xiandMrgnWBagive6«erBrrgttcWysai^^ 





""The Vanguard 
of a terrifying 
level of immersive 
interactivity. ” . 


Qttnke*s greatest additu 
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be disappointed 


’.‘oiiW overwhelm 
Bloody emaziog-”' 


www.idsoftware.com 



“ Quake looks like no other game and 
perfectly displays id’s trademark fusion of 
nightmarish art and advanced technology. 



Distributed fc>' 

GT InterdCtive Softwsre Quake^“ ©1996 id Software,^nc. All Rights Reserved. Published by Id Software. Inc. Distributed by GT Interactive Software Corp. 

wwv/.gtinteractive.com MS-DOS® is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective companies. 










\ ] A K 


i 





fuM r8|»*t8r8'l v8rsior, 
now availabh. 





"t© t>airiitness 

J 

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A 



Visit Tecmo Interactive at: http://www.tecmo.co.jp 








Tecmo, Inc. • 19260 South Van Ness Avenue, Torrance, CA 90501 

©Tecmo, Ltd. 1996 TECMO' is a registered trademark of Tecmo, Inc. Licensed by Sony Computer Entertainment America for use with the PlayStation game console. PlayStation 
and the PlayStation logos are trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. The ratings icon is a registered trademark of the Interactive Digital Software Association. 
THIS SOFTWARE IS COMPATIBLE WITH PLAYSTATION GAME CONSOLES WITH THE NTSC U/C DESIGNATION. 




NEXT GENERATION February 1997 


ng alphas 


San Francisco Rush 






Format: Arcade _ 

Publisher: Atari/Midway 

Developer: Atari Games 

Release Date: February ’97 

Origin: U.S. 

f you're bringing out a 
new driving game to 
the arcades, there's 
simply no room for 
mediocrity. Not with 
Sega Touring Car, 
Model 3 Daytona, and Namco's newest 
titles priming themselves for floor 
space (not to mention Konami's latest 
generation of solid racers). Atari 
Games is well aware of this, and its 
entry in the racing heat is an eight- 
player, arcade/sim driving blend of high 
jumping, precise handling, and unusual 
exploring. Sound weird? \A/ait until you 
see the bright lime green cabinets. 

But to quote Hunter S. 

Thompson, when the going gets tough, 
the weird turn pro, and Atari is as 
professional as they come with its 
impressive new San Francisco Rush, a 
racer built around the Voodoo Graphics 
dual chips and geared for beginners as 
well as digitally savvy speed kings. Four 
tricked-out street cars range from easy 
to difficult, while force-feedback steering 
and an environment that's been mapped 
with digitized photos to resemble the 
videogame-friendly streets of San 
Francsico come together in an amazing 


Atari's unique arcaide driving game leaves 
your (pumping) heart in San Francisco 


Here’s why H’s called Ruth: 
wonderfully unrealistic 
Jumps off real, mapped SF 
streets (top). Ihere will be 
at least three courses, with 
a couple of truly cool 
shortcuts per level, 
although they won’t be 
shown. The view of the city 
also serves for course 
select screen (right) 


ensemble of the absurd and realistic. 

Everything is user selectable — 
three different tracks, automatic or 
manual transmission (even the clutch 
is adjustable for subtle feathering and 
speed transitions), three viewpoints, six 
soundtracks, and best of 
all, alternative routes.The 
shortcut options add 
dangerous but faster 
diversions to the all but 
standard street courses. 
Racing through sewers, 
Chinatown, the Marina, 
Downtown, and Golden 
Gate Park has never been 
as fun, or as risky. 

But what gamers will 
notice right away is the 
ability to play with eight 
players and the sweet 
jumping sequences, which, 
while excessive and not 
much help in your quest for 
first place, are __ 
absolutely cool. 


"When the 
going gets 
tough, the 
weird turn 
pro” — and 
Atari is as 
professional 
as they come 


Atari has brought back 
Hard Drivin’a excellent 
force^eedback steering 


N«xt Generation OnUne, http;//www.next.generation.com/ 































/oday is the day when you 
stop listening to the tales 
of other lives lived. 








PlayStation 


With the gut-wrenching, all-terrain racing of Jet Moto, victory isn't a thrill. It's 
agony. Jet Moto's ten outdoor tracks will lead you and beat you over scorching 
sand, choppy seas and brittle ice and snow. Your only defense? One of twenty fiercely 
maneuverable next-gen moto bikes. There's so much going on here, all you need to 
know is that the grappling hook isn't an option, it's a necessity. That's because 
with Jet Moto's TruePhysics, every bump, every curve and every pothole will go 
directly from your suspension to your spleen. It's time you took o Jet Moto IWTOJJjlU 
test ride. Or better yet, do so against a friend on the two-player 
split-screen. Only this time, try to keep your eyes on the road, will you? e's r b 


For gome hints coll 1-900-933-SONY(7669). The charge is S0.9S per minute. Callers under the age of 18 must get porentol permission to coll. louch-tone-phone is required. Avoiloble 
24 hours a day/7 days o week. U.S. only. Sony Computer Entertainment logo is o trademark of Sony Corporation. PlayStation and the PlayStation logos ore trademarks of Sony 
Computer Entertoinment Inc. let Moto, TruePhysics, U R NOT E ore trademarks of Sony Interoctive Entertoinment Inc. ©1996 Sony Interoctive Entertainment Inc. www.sony.com 



Survival IS SIMPLE, 
Never stop runhins. 



"'While graphics powerhouses come and go, 
iVs titlesJike Grid Runner that focus 


on gameplay that have the potential to leHver 
long-term play tc fan^'^ 

"It's unique, challenging, and _ ]i|ext Generation 

packed with addictive gameplay..." 




Over 57 rounds of gameplay ^ 

15 monster opponents 
Two-player head-to-head action 
28 independent two-player rounds 
Ability to perform different magical spells 









ng alphas 


Gambare Goemon 5 



A hearty band of adventurers, an evil conqueror to overcome, and a 
Japanese flavor — Gambare Goemon 5 Is pure console RPG through and 
through, yet benefits Immensely from Its humor, scope, and reaMime 3D 
environment. Just the sort of game the Nintendo 64 needs on its home turf 


One of Konami's longest-running characters 
makes the leap to 3D — and the U.S.? 




The question 
mark is 
whether the 
lad will make 
a second trip 
to U.S. soii 



Crossed eyes and all, 
Okwmon has no fears 
when confronting evil 


Format: Nintendo 64 
Publisher: Konami _ 

Developer: Konami _ 

Release Date: Summer 1997 

Origin: Japan 



irst appearing on the 
fledgling 8-bit 
Famicom in 1984, the 
character of Goemon, 
a puckish fellow of 
indeterminate age 
living in feudal Japan, has a longevity 
rivaled by few others in Japanese 
videogames. Yet he remains almost 
unknown outside his homeland. Only 
the second game in the Goemon series 
was ever released in the U.S., as 
Legend of the Mystical Ninja in 1991. 
All that may change however, when 
Gambare Goemon 5, a 30 action/RPG, 
is released later this year. 


In feudal Japan,a 

troublemaker named Gogers has the 
decidedly variant goals of: one, 
becoming the world's greatest dancer, 
and two, conquering Japan (he's just 
not the shrinking violet type, it's safe to 
assume). After raising an army and 
taking over much of the island, 

Gogers's victory seems assured, until 


Goemon and his friends learn of his 
plans and set out to stop him. 

It's standard RPG backstory to be 
sure, but Gambare Goemon 5 is unique 
among console RPGs in that, like 
Mario 64 before it, the characters and 
environment are completely 3D. In 
fact, Gambare Goemon 5 features 
mechanics nearly identical to those of 
his Italian cousin: movement is 
controlled through the analog stick, the 
camera angle is user-controllable, and 
while not as athletic as Mario, Goemon 
manages a few acrobatic maneuvers. 



Some combat is resolved through real-time 3D fighting, an unusual 
feature for an RPG, although the special effects are impressive 


: Generation Online, http://www.next-^eneration.com/ 






























NEXT GENERATION February 1997 


ng alphas 





Compare these 3D wireframes with their fuily rendered scenes — note 
how a simple box becomes a fence through the use of transparent 


Qoemon 5 offers many 
variations In gameplay; It 
even Includes racing and 
mech action sections 


executed in a similar fashion. 

These play mechanics have been 
harnessed into an RPG framework, as 
players can choose between playing as 
Goemon or his friend, Ebisu Maru.Two 
other characters join the player on the 
quest, Sasuke and Yae, each of whom 
have different abilities and powers. 
Players can also switch to these 
characters as the situation requires. 

Through the course of the adventure, 
other non-playable characters are 
encountered. As with many previous 
Goemon games, humorous conversations 
occur, presenting the player with a list of 
possible responses. Depending on which 
response the player chooses, the 


storyline shifts slightly. 

Still, Gambare 
Goemon has its share of 
action elements. A 
minimalist 3D fighting 
engine handles some 
combat, for example, and 
racing segments exist. 
Certain portions even put 
you in the cockpit of a 
combat mech (historically 
a fixture in feudal 
Japanese warfare, ahem). 


GOStnOn promises to 
be colorful and full of 
variety, and as far as 
gameplay is concerned, the 
only open question is 
whether the humor and 
storyline can live up to the 
sumptuous graphics. The 
other big question mark in Gambare 
Goemon 5's future is whether the 
superdeformed lad will make his 
second trip to U.S. soil.The game is 
one of four being developed by Konami 
for the Nintendo 64 and represents the 
kind of substantial third-party 
commitment to the platform Nintendo 
soreiy needs, especially given the 
traditional hunger for RPGs in Japan. 
However, since the system also needs 
more titles in general for the U.S., the 
plucky Goemon could very 
well get his shot. (Xm 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 


94 











THE APOCALYPSE HAS BEGUN 


All seven seals Kave been broken. Every evil that once plagued 
/ ' tbe earth Kas a^^ain become incarnate, disturbin^^ the balancin^^ 

?’ force between jjood and evil, man and spirit. 

Not only have you stumbled blindly into a nijjhtmare, you've 
set the stajje fof the Apocalypse. And now only one can stop it. He 
who bears the mark. 

The chosen one. You. 

Presenting a terrifyinj' 3D 

Fi<ighifningi,v DFIAIFFD iD jdventute unlike anytKing you’ve 

ENVIRONMENT WITH INTERACTIVE experienced before. Realms Of Th 
OBJECTS AND PREDATORY DEMONS Hauntinjj. 

The forces of darkness are j^atherinj^ for the final showdown. 



♦ Over 600 interactive elements including more than 155 Room upon room of quests, 

INVENTORY ITEMS-MAPS, WEAPONS, & MAGICAL OBJECTS puzzles, battles and challenges 

♦ User-defined controls allow customization of 

ADVENTURE AND COMBAT LEVELS ^ _ 


♦ Sophisticated character interaction with a real-time, 
FIRST-PERSON 360° 3D ENVIRONMENT 



..superbly atmospheric. ” re ciamcr 

“5 out of 5 CGW Classic. This is one of the most balanced 
games that I have ever played, beautifully presented, 
utterly compel ling. ” cc; vv ** 


Digdal video, complex and ii^eijjgent 

PLOT BRANCHING AND MULTIPLE ENDINGS 


alms 

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Tin; BATTLEGROUND 
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GremUn 


BY GA.V1ERS. FOR (iA.MF.RS. 


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f)! Wo (ircmlin Inieractivc. l td. ;\11 rights restt'.vd. Rc;ilms of the Haunting and Inuspiax’ .ire trademarks of Interplay I’riKluctions. All rights reser\’ed. Interplay 
Licensed ;rom and dt ■ eloped by Ciremlin IntEracii .v Ltd. All other tradenurks are the property of their resivctive owners. 


’ is the sole publisher and distributor. 






2cm multiheterodyne pulse laser 


ill pressure resistant to 1100 meters 






2060 A.D. The Red menace has resurfaced. 

The sea boils with submarines and battlecruisers, blood and oil. 


The skies are dark with enemy birds. 
Tigershark has been deployed. 

A fully-loaded subfoil prototype. 
Forged for war. Built for speed. 




Dead set on destruction, 


Underwater. And over it. 


■Tigershark is hungry. 


fMegih: 




HELL AND HIGH WATER 


r GT Interactive 
Software 









rnMAXEiTilETTER 
’’/EnLE’:/lTlir, I 


REALLY* IT ^|FOR THjyi£ST. Because the only way to add more bumper-thumping thrills to Full » " ^ 

Tilt!'“ Pinball was to explode each table all the way up to full-screen. So now FULL TILT! 2 PINBALL 

bursts on the scene with panoramic views and bonus-scoring missions that will blow your mind. And - 

HF three new high-impact tables that land you smack in the center 

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Available for Windows 3.1/Windows 95. Coming soon for Power Macintosh. ©1996 Maxis. Inc. All rights reserved. Full Tilt! is a trademark and Maxis is a registered trademark of Maxis, Inc. All other 
trademarks are the properties of their respective owners. For product or ordering information, contact your local retailer or call 800-33-MAXIS. Visit the Maxis Web site at http://www.maxis.com. 


\\ '%Hif 















ng alphas 


Mace: The Dark Age 




Soon to be in the arcades, Mace is 
Atari's fighting chance for a prominent 
role in the crowded brawling genre 


Amazingly enough, with the great looks of this game comes significant speed 
and solid player control. Multiple combos and throws also play a role 


Although 
patterned 
after other 
brawlers, 
Mace adds 
eccentricities 
and flair in 
surprise 
places 


ne thing the videogame 
A industry never has to 

H worry about is a lack 

V of fighting games. 

Dozens arrive every 
' year, striving for big 
success, but probably less than 5% ever 
really make a splash. Atari Games 
believes it's studied the right games and 
cultivated the right elements to make 
Mace: The Dark Age a keeper, despite 
its once tenuous beginnings. 

“Before Midway came along and 
merged with Atari, there were no 
resources for this game," says Robert 
Daly, Mace's Producer. "We were on 
tentative ground for quite a while. But 


_ Format: Arcade _ 

Publisher: Atari Games 

Developer: Atari Games 

Release Date: February 1997 

Origin: U.S. 

Midway's philosophy was to let the team 
go and do its thing. Once we began, we 
pulled Macetogether very well." 

With support from Midway and 
3DFX's two-chip Voodoo Graphics 
solution (a modified PC chipset boosted 
for arcade hardware), the 11 designers 
have transformed Mace into a 3D, 
polygonal, weapon-based fighter along 
the lines of Soul Edge. Running at 30 
frames per second at a standard 
resolution of 512x256, Mace is 
patterned after several other well-known 
brawlers, but it adds eccentricities and 
flair in unexpected places. 

"One guy on ourteamism 

the Society for Creative Anachronisms, 
and he posed for our motion-capture 
work," said Daly. “If the moves didn't 
work out right the first time, we could 


Despite the weapoivbased 
fighting, body throws are 
still a mpior factor in fights 


N«xt Generation OnUne, http;//wvrw.next'^eneration.com/ 


NEXT GENERATION February 1997 






















NEXT GENERATION February 1997 


ng alphas 


100 





Backgrounds, or danger zones, add a unique variation to gameplay. Lava 
ptts, quicksand, and toxic waters cause damage, but can be escaped (left) 


There are a good number 
of female characters In 
the game — and they fight 
as good as they look 


easily redo them because he was always 
around. We started with 30 characters 
drawn onto cards. Focus groups of 
teenage kids narrowed the group down 
to 11 while reinforcing things we already 
knew and pointing out things about the 
characters that we just couldn't see." 

From the initial group of 30 familiar 
mythological characters, the final 11 
represent an international collection of 
gods, belly dancers, samurai, and monks. 
They include such disparate members as 
Lord Deimos, a heavily armored knight, 
Takeshi, a noble samurai armed with a 
Katana, and Namira, a former harem 
girl with a chip on her shoulder and an 
overhead sword. The two bosses — 
Grendal, a black and red obsidian 
gargoyle with a skull hammer, and 
Asmodious, the final boss — are dark 
and brooding, much like the game itself. 

The fight mechanics boast 
various combinations, throws, counters, 
chain combos, "and plenty of 
decapitations," says Darryl DePriest, 
the game's Marketing Director, with a 
grin. A four-button configuration 
controls moves, and fighters can 
compete in a full 3D arena, using side¬ 
stepping and 3D attacks. Sloping 
backgrounds, similar to those used in 
Virtua Fighter 3, \n\\\ be incorporated 
into play, although traditional rings outs 
are nonexistent. Instead, each large 
arena is surrounded by some life- 


A colorfiJl palette will 
translate nicely to Nintendo 
64 in late December ’97 


The fight 
mechanics 
boast all kind 
of combos, 
throws, 
counters, 
chain combos, 
and plenty of 
decapitations 


threatening element — be it molten 
lava, quicksand, toxic water, or spikes — 
that causes damage but not instant 
death. These danger zones keep the 
fighting localized but avoid the abrupt 
endings seen in so many ring-out games. 


Mace looks amazing, with 

moody backgrounds intermixed with a 
bright color palette. The crisp, fluid 
animation and full incorporation of 
texture-mapped polygons on the 
characters work well and appear to 
create a complete look, with a level of 
detail and sophistication not seen in 
Atari games for some time. 

The version previewed by Next 
Generation was nearing 60% 
completion, with various lighting effects 
having just been added and tweaked. At 
this early stage of development, Mace 
appears to be off to a strong start. If the 
final results live up to 
expectations, this could be 
the U.S.-engineered 
brawler that makes big 
Japanese manufacturers 
sit up and r’No 

take notice. ljL£;< 


Next Generatkxi Online, http://www.next.generation.com/ 


















DOOR-TO-DOOR 


ROLLING THUNDER 



NASCAR. Racing for the PC was the biggest racing game ever. Now it’s available for the PlayStation™ Game Console. 



Change tires, gears, suspension, and more to 
customize your car’s performance in Sim mode. 


• Totally realistic car physics 

• Customizable Simulation Mode or hop-in 
and-start-driving Arcade Mode 

• 1996 cars and drivers on 18 different tracks, 
including 2 fantasy tracks 

• Night racing on 3 tracks 

• Hard-rock soundtrack, realistic sound effects 

• Officially licensed by NASCAR 

• Also available on PC and Macintosh 



In car view puts you in the driver’s seat Rear 
view lets you see the big picture. 


^SIERRA 


For more information, see your local software 
dealer or visit us at http://www.sierra.com. 



©sierra On-Line. Inc. ® and/or designate trademarks of, or licensed to Sierra On-Line, Inc. /Ul rights reserved. Papyrus and Papyrus logo are tra 
Computer Entertainment, Inc. NASCAR® Racing is officially licensed by NASCAR®. 


arks of Papyrus Design Group. Inc. PlayStation’” and the PlayStation’” logos are trademarks of Sony 





FEBRUARY EVENTS 


M[F 


b:DDPM 


T[T 


^:DDpm 


W[^ 


blDQPM 


I :DDpM 


b:DDPM 


^ GAMES TOO VIOLENT 

Vote in a special PSXPOwenpoW to 
determine whether you think games are 
too vioient 


■0 IN THE PALACE 
A Q&A with the Next Generation 

Magazine editoriai staff. You've got 
questions, we've got answers. Join us 
on the Palace where we will answer all 
of your questions. 


fO the big debate 

Utta fiww ftorm Online gives N64, 
PlayStation and Saturn owners the 
chance to debate the pros and cons of 
their system. The oldest argument in the 
book takes place in a special forum. 


^ MOVERS AND SHAKERS 

N64.com interviews Ed Logg, creator of 
Wayne Gretzky's 3D Hockey, Asteroids, 
Gauntlet, Centipede and others. Posted 
in straight text, with audio downloads. 

^ GREAT SEGA CONTEST 

Cool Contest of the Month. 

is the best place to win neat Sega stuff 

and top games. 


3:UDpm 


b:DDPM 


:UUPM 


blDQPM 


b:DUPM 


I LIVING INATREEHOUSE 

In a special interview 

Online asks one of Nintendo’s professional 
game players what it’s like to get paid to play 
Nintendo games. Grueling stuff, obviously. 


I BIG DEMO DAY 

Massive Download Mayhem. Next Generation 
Online offers three new PC and three new 
Macintosh demos as part of today's update. 

Get your modem warmed up for some extended 
download action. 


^ WORD FROM SONY 

A Q & A session with Andrew House. PSX 
Power asks SCEA's Vice President of Marketing 
your PlayStation questions; what's coming up, 
and what's going down. Send in your questions 
one week prior. Abridged interview also avail¬ 
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N64.com mWs Texas-based Midway for a look at 
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games. Videotape downloads available. 


> NET UNK GAMING ARRIVES 

I - launches a Net Link Special 

including first looks at screen-shots, movies, 
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J Every day, one of the five sites in the 
Imagine Games Network hosts a special 
event. These include interviews, chat 
forums, downloads and extra features. 

And they're all absolutely free. 


J All you have to do is check the times 
and the dates of the events, and make 
sure you're there to enjoy them. You'll 
find the urls of all the sites at the bottom 
of this page. 


http//: WWW. imaginegames.com 



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RETRO UPROAR 

I Bentf Online takes a look 
i at retro gaming, oldie collections, bar- 
' gains from the past, and classics of the 
future. 

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IN THE PALACE 

Chat live with EA Sports developers in this 
two-hour forum hosted by PSX Power. 


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Saturn 2: Now or Later?- Vote in a special 
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next move. 


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IN THE PALACE 

Join an online chat with Psygnosis and 
Next (Seneratton Online. Psygnosis has 
brought us some of the best titles in the 
last two years. Chat with some of the 
minds behind the games. 


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Gaming Concept Forum - A new forum will 
begin on Next Generation Online where 
you can express what you want to see in 
the games of the future. Forum will last 
approximately two weeks after launch. 


po 

b:DDPM 


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Live Inter-company debate between the 
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PSX Power. The ultimate debate between | 
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NEXT GENERATION February 1997 


ng alphas 


J-League 

Perfect Striker 


104 



For the first 
time, the 
Perfect 
Striker series 
inciudes 
actuai 

piayers from 
the Japanese 
ieague 



I n Japan, Konami's 
Perfect Striker series 
had a long, relatively 
successful run on the 
Super Famicom before 
' making the leap to 
PlayStation last year. Now it's set to 
make the next technological jump to 
Nintendo 64, with the added bonus that 
for the first time the game includes 
actual players from the Japanese soccer 
league (hence, J-League). 

The game offers many features you'd 
expect in a soccer sim with six different 
modes of play including single match. 
League Battle, and a penalty kick shoot¬ 
out. Games can be played in either day or 
night, with Worldwide Soccer-style 
shadows during night games. Also, 
players can choose from 16 formations 
and eight attack strategies. 

But J-League offers some unique 
features as well, including a “man mark" 
option, which enables the player to assign 
a team member to cover a specific 


Format: Nintendo 64 

Publisher: Konami 

Developer: Konami 

Release Date: TBA _ 

Origin: Japan 


member of the opposing team. Players 
can also designate specific team 
members to handle throw-ins, comer 
kicks, and penalty shots. Because the 
teams and stadiums are fully polygonal, 
players can also select camera views 
from low, middle, and high, and close, 
medium, and far for a total of nine 
different angles. 

Euro-League players will likely be 
substituted in the European release later 
this year. Plans for a U.S. release are 
tentative, but as with Gambare Goemon 
(page 93), the title-starved market — 
which is especially dry of Nintendo 64 
sports games — may well dictate ^ 
Perfect Striker's release. 



Next GeneratkMi OnlJne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 








































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Shadow 


Warri 


ng alphas 






I eorge Broussard, 
president and project 
guru over at 3D 
Realms, says, "We're 
surprised that 90% 

' of all 3D action 
games aren't any good." He shouldn't 
be — 3D Realms hasn't had any 
problem licensing its Duke Nukem 
engine out to struggling competitors 
(such as Capstone) looking for a leg 
up. "But I guess they're Just getting 
started," Broussard concedes, 
"whereas our next games (Shadow 
Warrior and Blood), are second 
generations of the engine, and are 
going to be finished fairly soon." 

Shadow Warrior is the first 3D, 
first-person action game from 3D 
Realms since the overwhelmingly 
successful Duke Nukem 3D, and it looks 
to be a major step forward. The 
backstory hasn't been fully developed, 
but the game is set in the far east, and 
offers plenty of Asian flavor. A Samurai 
sword is among the 10 possible 
weapons, and a Pachinko parlor is one 
of the environments. Also, the player's 
character is not going to be the young 
stud-jock that Duke was, but he'll still 
have some characteristic one-liners all 
the same. "This guy is very different 


from Duke," Broussard says."He's 
older, he's Asian, we don't think his 
English will be that good, so there'll be 
some humor based around that." 

While Duke Nukem 3D was a 
huge success for Broussard, he isn't 
wasting any time thinking about it, he's 
just thinking how to top it. He 
specifically mentions how the engine can 
now handle true-rooms-above-rooms, as 
in Quake. "If a room has beams," he 
says, "you'll be able to get up and walk 


Players are given the ability to leap 
into tanks, boats, forklifts, and 
bulldozers and use them accordingly 


on those beams to enter other rooms, or 
use them to walk around the top." 

Graphically, some tweaks to the 
engine have been made, and the pick-up 
items in Shadoww\\\ be 3D-voxelized 
sprites, which Broussard says will be 
more detailed than polygonal models. 

But quite possibly the biggest 
advancement with Shadow w\\\ be the 
3D vehicle support. Players can leap into 
tanks, boats, forklifts, and bulldozers and 
use them to explore the 3D environment. 

Broussard describes how the vehicles 


3D Realms takes no vacations as the game 
to follow Duke Nukem comes out blasting 


Format: PC CD-ROM 


Weapons Include a 
crossbow, grenades, a 
ring-laser rifle, and a 
barrage of others 


Publisher: GT Interactive 

Developer: Apogee/ 
_ 3D Realms 

Release Date: March or April 

Origin: U.S. 


107 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 


NEXT GENERATION February 1997 

























NEXT GENERATION February 1997 


ng alphas 


108 



Shadow Warrior features lots of exterior environments and offers the 
player a greater degree of mobility than was found in Duke Nukem 3D 


are weapons you can use them to run 
down opponents. You need some 
vehicles, like the forklift, to solve 
puzzles. He also mentions a battleship 
area where the player can climb into the 
gun turrets and fire at the opposition. 


Shadow Warrior makes no use of 
MMX and will not be enhanced by any 
of the 3D accelerator cards, as 
Broussard thinks they are not popular 
enough yet. "A P90 with 16MB RAM 
will run the game fine," he says.The 
game will also ship with a level editor, 
but when asked about a release date, 
Broussard is hesitant. "We're planning 
for March, or early April" he says, 
which suggests Apogee/GTI would like 
to have the game out before the end of 
the fiscal year, but Broussard says he 
sees too many products rushed 
to market. 





"The game will ship when it's 

done," he concludes adamantly, "and 
not before then. If for some reason it 
goes out a little later, I know I'll get a 
lot of feedback stating, 'we read in Next 
Generation it was going to be out in 
March,' but it absolutely won't ship 
until we feel it's finished. You have to 
put that in for me." r’so 

Okay George, you got it. 


Shadow Warriora\so 


takes into account feedback on multi¬ 
player action. "We're adding team 
play," Broussard proudly says, "and 
we're looking to incorporate a capture- 
the-flag game players have asked for." 
Broussard also mentions a new scoring 
system for deathmatches, in which a 
player earn more points for killing 
someone with a weak weapon than for 
easily dusting them with a rocket. As for 
Internet play,TEN and 3D Realms are 
already hard at work on the Internet 
code, doing what they can to work 
around the perennial latency problem. 


Of course, there’ll be some Mg monsters (left) with other enemies ranging from the Moody undead to the somewhat humanoid 


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NEXT GENERATION February 1997 


ng alphas 


lOth Planet 


110 



Beautiful, sophisticated, 
real-time, and very fast 
(we’re talking about the 
space ships) 


Bethesda, the small but powerful design house that 
brought you Daggerfall and SkyNET, may have the 
coolest space combat sim since TIE Fighter 


"Some of the 
delays have 
been directly 
related to 
Centroplis 
being up to 
its eyes in 
work for ID4” 



I 0 how does a 
company like 
Bethesda follow up 
I the back-to-back 
release of the most 
' eagerly awaited PC 
RPG of last year, Daggerfall, and the 
best first-person shooter released so 
far this year, Terminator: SkyNET. 
Simple, start work on what could 
very well be the best space combat 
sim of the season, 10th Planet. 


This kind of diversity might 

at first seem a shocking hurdle to 
overcome — modestly sized 
development houses that try to be all 
things to all gamers usually wind up 
meaning little to any of them — but 
Bethesda has an ace in the hole. As 
Bruce Nesmith, 10th Planet's 
Producer, explains, "The thing that 


Format: PC CD-ROM 

Publisher: Bethesda _ 

Developer: Bethesda _ 

Release Date: November 1997 

Origin: U.S. 

Bethesda has right now that's 
definitely our best asset is our 'X- 
Engine'technology." 

X-Engine is a real-time rendering 
engine of such considerable flexibility 
that it can construct virtually any sort 
of environment, for any purpose. 
"There are many different ways we 
can use it," Nesmith boasts. "We built 
Daggerfall around it, we have an 
experimental car racing game, X-Car 
(see NG 22) — we're looking for all 
kinds of exciting ways to exploit this 
technology and make really, really cool 
games. A space combat simulator was 



Next Generatioii OnUne, http://www.next.generation.com/ 




























ng alphas 



a very natural thing to want to do." 

"Sitting here today," Nesmith 
boasts, "I can say that nobody else has 
the X-Engine in the PC environment." 
Using Phong-based lighting model, the 
X-Engine maintains such a high frame 
rate through any number of SVGA 
resolutions that when the game was 
demoed for Next Generation, the 2MB 
VRAM graphics adapter in the PC 
used dropped frames well before the 
engine slowed. "I'm sure the 
programmers would have a whole raft 
of other things they're proud it can 



WKh Ks real-time, Phong shading 3D engine, 10th Planet Is shaping up to 
be one of the best — if not the best — space combat aims coming 


do," Nesmith continues, "but these are 
the cool things for me. These features 
let me design things like 10th Planet." 

The game is being developed 

as a co-venture of Bethesda Softworks 
and the Hollywood production 
company Centropolis, probably best 
known for last summer's blockbuster. 
Independence Day. "Since I've been 
here, about a year and a half, 
Centropolis has been linked with 10th 
Planet," Nesmith explains, "The 
producer there. Dean Devlin, has been 
excited for a long time about getting 
his hands dirty in our environment and 
doing a computer game. He recognizes 
that he doesn't have the setup or 
necessarily the game knowledge to 
create his own, but he does know how 
to tell stories and he does know how to 
recognize good special effects and use 
them. So he's taking care of his end 
and we're taking care of ours." 

Delays in the project occurred, 
however, as Bethesda began shifting 


“The folks at 
Centropolis 
[the company 
behind ID4] 
understand 
the idea isn’t 
to make a 
film and put it 
on the PC, 
but to make a 
PC game” 



111 


Next Generation Online, http://www.next-generation.com/ 


NEXT GENERATION February 1997 















NEXT GENERATION February 1997 


ng alphas 


112 




still quHe eariy in its 
design, 10th Planet could 
be the sim to beat In ’97 


Just looking over these still screens doesn’t do Bethesda’s X-Engine 
Justice — the speed and fluidity of the motion Is simply amazing 


The X-Engine 
is so fast, the 
graphics 
adapter in the 
PC dropped 
frames 
before the 
engine 
slowed 


more and more resources into getting 
Daggerfall out the door, and 
Centropolis became equally caught up 
in its own little project. 

"Well, Devlin's a busy guy," 
Nesmith admits, "and some of the 
delays in 10th Planet have been 
directly related to the fact that for a 
while Centropolis was up to its eyeballs 
in work for ID4. And maybe we didn't 
like that, but there wasn't much we 
could do about it. The fact that these 
guys were going to earn $100 million 
on this movie meant that Bethesda, 
well, we kind of weren't in the driver 
seat on that," he laughs. 

Bethesda is in complete 

control of modifying the X-Engine, 
designing the game's mechanics, and 
keeping the interactive elements to a 
maximum, while Centropolis develops 
the story, characters, and handles ship 
and alien design. The arrangement has 
so far been a productive one. "Largely 
the folks at Centropolis, and in 
particular Devlin, have the 
understanding that the idea isn't to 
take a film and put it on the PC, the 
idea is to make a PC game." 

"Devlin understands there are 


things he knows that we don't, and 
there are things that we know that he 
doesn't. And he's a real pleasure to 
work with because too often the heavy 
money, which usually ends up being the 
Hollywood interest, assumes it knows 
everything, and because of the power of 
big money, money gets to have its way. 
So we're very, very happy not to have 
to work in that kind of relationship." 

The game is shaping up to be 

a hybrid of space combat sim and 
wargame. Set within the Earth's solar 
system, the player is privateer who 
helps fend off attacking aliens (wanna 
guess where they come from?).The 
game's time element means the planets 
all follow their respective orbits, and 
so the game's overall strategic 
environment continually changes as 
planets move their relative position. 

Nesmith concludes, "If everything 
turns out perfect — and I recognize 
that if I even get half of this I'll be in 
hog heaven — then I'll have access to 
some really cool technologies that 
nobody else does. There's a high 
probability that we can have fractal 
landscapes, for example, which means 
we can have players fly over the 
surface of any moon or any planet, 
and we won't have to manually create 
the data beforehand to make it look 
good and realistic. We also have some 
interesting tricks we can use to put a 
lot of ships in the sky, and I don't 
know how many 'a lot' is right now, 
because we're going to measure it by 
the frame rate we can get. But I'm 
confident we can put in two to three 
times as many as anyone else." 

And in conclusion? "It's 
going to be very, very cool." 


Next Generation OnUne, httpV/www.next-^eneratlon.com/ 













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NEXT GENERATION February 1997 


Killer Instinct Gold Nintendo 64 FIFA ’97 PlayStation Machinehead Saturn Cruisin’ USA Nintendo 64 
Terminator: SkyNET PC In the Zone 2 PlayStation Mummy, Tomb of the Pharaoh Mac RAMA PC 


finals^ 


Game reviews (including three guaranteed to piss off Nintendo) 


118 


120 

Ninten(do 64 

121 

PlayStation 

128 

Saturn 

130 

PC 

134 

Macintosh 

135 

3D0 

135 

Genesis 

135 

Virtual Boy 

135 

Neo-Geo 

135 

Super NES 

135 

Arcade 



I t’s a tough job. but the 
Next Generation staff 
wants to help you out. 
We play the new games 
endlessly, then review and rate 
them so you know what to 
play. Our explication of each 
game is in the text, but refer 
to the following star guide to 
understand our rating system. 

Revolutionary 
Brilliantly conceived and 
flawlessly executed: a new 
high-water mark. 

★★★★ Excellent 

A high-quality and inventive 
new game. Either a step 
forward for an existing genre, 
or a successful attempt at 
creating a new one. 

★ ★ ★ Good 

A solid and competitive 
example of an established 
game style. 

★★ Average 

Perhaps competent; certainly 
uninspired. 

* Bad 

Crucially flawed in design or 
application. 


Nintendo 64 


Cruisin’ USA 

Publisher: Nintendo 
Developer: Williams/Nintendo 

This game began life as the 
brainchild of legendary game 
designer Eugene Jarvis (of 
Defender fame) and was turned 
into a somewhat successful 
arcade title (it's actually done 
more business than Daytona USA 
in U.S. arcades). But from the 
very beginning, Cruisin’was 
destined for Nintendo 64 (or 
“Ultra 64" as it was known at the 



Highly successful as a coin-op, 
Cruisin’ USA falls to inspire when 
converted for the home 


time), and it is possibly for this 
reason that we are so 
disappointed in the result of more 
than two years in development. 

At its essence, Cruisin' USA 
is a race across America in 
which, along the way, you are 
briefly exposed to various U.S. 
landmarks. It’s a simple and good 
enough premise for a racing 
game, sure enough, but the N64 
version of is inexcusably poor. 

The graphics rarely exceed an 
unforgivably low 20 frames per 
second, which results in a slow, 
choppy game experience that 
isn’t even compensated for by 
graphical lushness. Given the 
simple geometry of Cruisn' USA's 
cars and a lack of any geometry 
in the background (and given that 
WaveRace was so impressive), 
it’s difficult to imagine what 
Williams thinks it’s doing. Even 
the backgrounds are essentially 
Just a couple of layers of parallax, 
which is disappointing, given the 
capabilities of the 64-bit system. 

Control within the game is 
helped slightly by the analog 
stick, but it’s still not as slick as 


it should be. A much-needed 
sensation of speed simply isn’t 
apparent, and is even further 
diminished in the two-player, split¬ 
screen mode. Furthermore, the 
incredibly cheap/ridiculous 
collision detection does little to 
add to the fun factor of the game. 
But the most glaring problem with 
the game is the music, which 
ranges from poorly composed 
country twang to a somewhat 
more appropriate, but still poorly 
composed, lightweight techno. If 
ever there was a soundtrack that 
would drive you insane, this is it. 
Thankfully, the developers were 
courteous enough to include an 
option to turn the music off. 

Overall, this half-hearted, 
rough-shod conversion is exactly 
what Nintendo 64 doesn’t need 
— and adds weight to the 
growing gripe among third parties 
that the system is a bitch to work 
with. We even finished the whole 
game in under two hours on our 
first attempt — and didn’t relish 
the prospect of starting over. 
Rating: A- 

Killer Instinct Gold 

Publisher: Nintendo 
Developer: Rare/Nintendo 

When the first Kiiier instinct 
came out for the Super NES, fans 
of the arcade original were 
overjoyed. Now it’s time to please 
these fans once again — but it’s 
unlikely that many other Nintendo 
64 owners will be laughing. Sure, 
Kl Gold hits home with a solid 
arcade conversion of the combo¬ 
intensive "memorize the formula" 
gameplay that enjoyed its 15 
minutes of arcade fame a couple 
of years ago, but boy — does this 
one wilt quickly under the harsh 
lights of home. It’s Just not much 
fun, and who wants games to be 



Large comedy breasts fail to 
help N64’s Killer Intinet Gold 
compete wHh VF2 or Tekken 2 


merely a memory test? (Well, 
aside from Myst tans...) 

Still, for fans of this particular 
breed of gameplay, all the popular 
characters are back from Killer 
Instinct 2, with perhaps some 
hidden ones (Nintendo ain’t 
talkin’) thrown in for good 
measure. Control of the game is 
fluid, but Nintendo 64’sjoypad 
wasn’t designed for 2D fighters 
and does require some getting 
used to. Its six button 
configuration (the same as for 
Street Fighter II, with three 
buttons for punches and the 
others for kicking attacks) is 
almost as clumsy here as it was 
on the Super NES. 

Due to the limitations of the 
cartridge format, some frames of 
animation found in the arcade 
original’s have been left out (the 
same is true with Mortal Kombat) 
as have all the FMV sequences. 
The backgrounds have all made 
the conversion, however, and have 
even been refined to increase the 
detail. The soundtrack is also fully 
intact, and boasts cleaner sound 
effects and music. Nintendo has 
also improved upon the practice 
mode, enabling gamers to work on 
specific areas of interest. Want to 
perfect a counter move or combo 
breaker? No problem. Just follow 
the appropriate tutorial and, in no 
time, you’ll be a master. Other 
options include team and 
tournament modes, which enable 
gamers to compete against each 
other with their favorite group of 
different characters. 

Ultimately, Nintendo 64 users 
desperate for a fighting game will 
probably snatch this up, but they 
may quickly regret it — the 
arcade version of Killer Instinct 
was showing signs of age pretty 
much within days of its launch, 
and this is almost arcade perfect. 
Still, it did manage to muster a 
devout following that remains 
faithful to this day. Either way, 
whether you like it or not (and our 
opinion is pretty clear) this ain’t 
no Tekken 2, and — as sure as 
Orchid’s breasts are fake — it 
ain’t no Virtue Fighter 2 either. 
Rating: ★★ 

Shadows of the Empire 
Publisher: Nintendo 
Developer: LucasArts 

Easily classified as one of the 
most anticipated third-party 


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NEXT GENERATION February 1997 


rating playstation 



Unfortunately, the force wasn’t 
with LucasArts during the 
development of Shadows 


titles for Nintendo 64, Shadows 
of the Empire is a game that 
ultimately will rely more on its 
movie license than any 
innovative or entertaining 
gameplay. Considering the high 
expectations associated with 
Nintendo 64 games, Shadows 
must be considered somewhat 
of a disappointment (especially 
when you think of what it could 
have been!) but there’s no 
doubt that it will sell 
extraordinarily well. 

So what’s wrong with it? 
Technically, Shadows of the 
Empire seems to look and sound 
great — especially on initial 
inspection. But closer 
examination reveals that the 
graphics and sound tire quickly 
and that 64 Mbit cartridges are 
— in today’s day and age — far 
too small for this kind of game: 
The sequence in the sewers of 
the Imperial City are particularly 
sad with the water/sludge being 
one big unmoving plane of 
texture: the main character of 
Dash Rendar looks as if he is 
stuck in a solid floor as he moves 
through the liquid without even 
causing a ripple; the looping of 
the background in the Mos Eisley 
race sequence also screams of 
space limitations. As for music 
and sound, they’re lifted directiy 
from the film soundtrack so they 
are authentic and satisfying — 
but once again cartridge 
restraints force a lot of looping. 
(Again — imagine what this 
could have been with the full 
John Williams’ score.) 

Aesthetics aside, the three-in- 
one gameplay in Shadows can 
best be described as uninspired. 
The majority of the game is a 
shooter that can be played from 
either a first-person or third- 
person perspective. All these 
levels lack sparkle, however, and 
there are plenty of Doon>clones 
that are faster, smoother, and 
more compelling first-person 
shooters — even the 
environments of the third-person 
perspective Tomb Raider dwarfs 
Shadows in terms of size and 
exploratory freedom. 

The best levels in Shadows of 


the Empire are the AT-AT battles 
on the ice planet of Noth at the 
beginning of the game — and 
these really are quite fun. Piloting 
a snowspeeder is every Star Wars 
fans’ dream, and zooming through 
a pack of the Empire’s armored 
behemoths is exhilarating. But 
even here, there are irritating 
restrictions on gameplay. The 
speeder can only move up, down, 
left, or right (forget about any 
acrobatic spins and rolls), and 
forget about flying over the 
mountains to explore the ‘3D’ 
world — the gameplay in 
Shadows is for the most part 
restricted to a single arena or a 
particular pathway. 

Levels like a asteroid field TIE 
fighter attack, a race through 
Mos Eisley on hover bikes, a final 
space battle shoot-out, and a 
mine cart level (shudder) add 
variety to the gameplay but none 
of it is new, or for that matter 
particularly exciting. In fact, it 
may be that this vast variety of 
game-types is the ultimate 
downfall of Shadows of the 
Empire. A well-implemented, 
detailed, snowspeeder flight sim 
with an expansive 3D 
environment would’ve been an 
intriguing, better focused game. 
So would a solid first-person 
shooter such as Dark Forces. 
Instead, by being a student of all 
genres. Shadows of the Empire is 
ultimately the master of none. 
Rating: -kir 


PlayStation 


The Adventures 
of Lomax 

Publisher: Psygnosis 
Developer: Psygnosis 

Cute character + theme setting + 
funky bad guys = side-scrolling 
adventure game. This formula has 
been done to death, and 
releasing a game for a 32-bit 
system seems an awful waste, 
especially since there’s little that 
can be put into such a game that 
hasn’t already been covered by 
Mario or Sonic years ago. The 
Adventures of Lomax is a fair try, 
most closely resembling Sonic, 
but the poor lemming misses the 
mark. 

A mascot character has to be 
charismatic, quirky, and it helps a 
whole lot if he’s cute, too. Lomax 
has his quirks, and he’s pretty 
darn cute, but alas, he seems to 
have been out to lunch when they 
were handing out charisma. Little 
about him or his story sparks the 
imagination. Lomax is out to 
rescue his pals from some guy 
named Evil Ed and must battle 
the typical enemies from above 
and below, as well as work 


through obstacles. 

As far as gameplay goes. The 
Adventures of Lomax isn’t all bad 
for a side-scroller. There are a 
few fairly challenging stretches 
that require some skill, and 
Lomax manages a couple of 
tricks along the way — one of 
the objects of the game is to 
pick up different hats Lomax can 
use to do things like build 
temporary bridges or firebomb 
enemies. Not entertainment of 
the highest order, but hey, we 
can’t all be Mario. 

Rating: ★★ 

Bubsy 3D 

Publisher: Accolade 
Developer: Eidetic 

The developers at Eidetic 
consciousiy decided to go for a 



The only third-party mascot to 
make it to the 32-bH platform, 
Bubsy again falls just short 


very barren, Warner Bros, look in 
Bubsy 3D, with simple colored 
polygons and no detailed texture 
maps. The down side is that the 
backgrounds are simplistic, with 
overly bright colors, much like a 
16-bit game. However, on the up 
side, because there aren’t any 
detailed texture maps Bubsy 3D 
is able to run in high-res mode, 
giving it a clear, crisp look. One 
of the few other game that runs 
in PlayStation’s high-res mode is 


Square’s Tobal No. 1, and both 
games show that simple graphics 
aren’t always bad. 

In fact, the real problem with 
Bubsy 3D has nothing to do with 
graphics. The control is less than 
impressive. In order to navigate 
Bubsy through his 3D world, 
players have to go through a lot 
of trouble to get him moving in 
the right direction. Despite the 
fully 3D environment, the control 
is similar to Resident Evif, you 
turn Bubsy around until he’s 
facing the right direction, then 
press forward to make him move. 
In a relatively slow-paced game 
like Resident Evil this is rarely a 
problem, but a platform game 
requires precise, intuitive control, 
and that just isn’t here. 

It’s possible to get used to 
this, but more often than not, 
failing to accomplish something 
and dying occur because of 
control problems or poor camera 
positioning — and nothing is more 
frustrating than blowing it purely 
because the character didn’t do 
you what you wanted him to. 

With plenty of levels and a 
nifty two-player game, the game 
isn’t without value, but like its 
16-bit predecessors, Bubsy 3D is 
several platforms short of the 
top floor. 

Rating: ★★ 

Dark Forces 

Publisher: LucasArts 
Developer: LucasArts 

The Star Wars-meets-Doom 
formula worked pretty well for 
Dark Forces a year ago on the 
PC, but now, a year later on 
PlayStation, this once flashy 
game looks like the aging port it 
is. From a first-person 
perspective, the player becomes 
mercenary Kyle Katarn, working 
for the Rebel Alliance. In 14 
levels, Kyle must uncover and 
stop the production of a new 



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PLAYING PERSPECTIVES 














NEXT GENERATION February 1997 


rating playstation 


cybernetic stormtrooper, the 
mysterious Dark Trooper — a 
mission that inevitably boils down 
to blasting the hell out of 
numerous recognizable Empire 
baddies, including that nasty 
sewer creature from the first 
film’s trash compactor scene. 
While there are only 14 levels, 
they vary greatly in design and 
environment, offer some 
interesting puzzles, and can be 
extremely challenging. 

While the gameplay is good. 
Dark Forces fails on some 
technical levels as a port. The 
overall speed feels slower than 
most Doom-style PlayStation 
games, and the control is 
somewhat stiff, even if it’s among 
the first PlayStation titles in 
which the player can raise or 
lower the aim of the gun. Also, 
after playing Disruptor, the 
visuals in Dark Forces come off as 
mediocre. While the light-sourcing 
from the PC version translates 
well, the textures aren’t as 
defined, and the characters 
pixelate something awful up 
close. 

While the graphics may be 
lacking, for those who care the 
audio remains nearly perfect. All 
the symphonic Star Wars music, 
blaster sounds, and random 
shouts from imperial guards such 
as, “There he is! Stop him!" add 
to the authentic atmosphere. 

Not quite as intense as Doom 
or Disruptor, but surely better 
than crap like Kileak, Dark Forces 
will certainly satisfy Star Wars 
fans looking for their own little 
touch of the force. 

Rating: ★★★ 


122 


King’s Field II 

Publisher: ASCII Entertainment 
Developer: From Software 

When the original King’s Fieid 
(actually King's Fieid II In Japan) 
arrived last year It showcased 
real-time, 360-degree 3D like we’d 
never seen on PlayStation. Now, 
with King's Field //(actually 
King's Field III in Japan), the 
developers at From Software are 
attempting to make an even more 
involved action/RPG. 

The inherent problem with 
this hybrid game is that the action 
can’t compare with the likes of 
Doom, and the RPG is never as 
involved as, say. Final Fantasy 
titles. Therefore, you end up with 
two diluted genres in one 
package. Last year, as diluted as 
the RPG elements In KFwere, it 
was still the closest thing to an 
RPG available for PlayStation. 
However, this year there’s a lot 
more competition, which makes 
the flaws In KFII glaringly evident. 
To start with, the first-person 3D 
engine is very slow and the 
battles are predictable and 



The magic spells and their 
special effects are one of the 
solid addKions to KFII 


monotonous. Second, the shallow 
RPG element of the game Is every 
bit as duli as the action. 

If you can overlook pace. 
King’s Field II is a big game, with 
a lot of areas to explore. It also 
takes a couple of weeks to finish 
— sadiy, that’s still pretty rare for 
PlayStation games. 

Rating: ★★★ 

Motor Toon Grand Prix 

PubUsher: SCEA 
Developer: Poly’s 

What do you get when you cross 
Saturday morning cartoons with 
The Need for Speed? Simple, you 
get Motor Toon Grand Prix. The 
original Motor Toon was one of 
PlayStation’s eariiest titles in 
Japan, but it never saw a release 
on this side of the Pacific. 
Thankfully, SCEA has seen fit to 
release the sequel stateside. 

Don’t let the title fool you — 
this isn’t Just for kids. Sure, all 
the snazzy sets of wheels you can 
choose look a little strange and 
come complete with a resident 
cartoon character, but don’t 
worry, every vehicie goes plenty 
fast enough. 

The characters are an odd lot, 
including the saucy Princess Jean 
in herjaiopy, the Penguin Brothers 
in their mobster cruiser, and (one 
of the better choices) Vanity on 
her Harley. But that’s not all, 
folks: Motor Toon also sports a 
weird set of power-ups players can 
purchase right in the middie of the 
race with coins picked up along 
the tracks. The power-ups let you 
do nasty things like biast the 
other toon racers with bombs, or 
drop 32-ton weights on 
unsuspecting opponents, not to 



Motor Toon Grand Prix: a good 
use for your PlayStation 


mention slowing them down by 
unieashing the trippy visuals of 
Pandora’s Box. 

Being toon-based, the tracks 
need not be anywhere near 
reaiistic, and the eye-catching 
graphics make it tempting to siow 
down and admire the passing 
scenery. One track is even set in 
a toy store complete with big 
piano keys (which tinkie with 
notes as you drive across) and 
bouider-sized biiliard balis. The 
game also smartly enables you to 
leave the beaten path and even 
admire the race from 
a distance. 

Motor Toon is fast, gorgeous, 
and very different from anything 
else seen in the U.S. (besides 
gray market copies of the original 
Motor Toon, of course). What 
more could you want? 

Rating: ★★★★ 

Power Move Wrestling 

Publisher: Activision 
Developer: Tomy 

For anyone who thought wrestling 
was a sport long gone from the 
videogame market, think again. 
Power Move Wrestling from 
Activision is a U.S. port of the 
Japanese hit Toukon Retsuden (NG 


14 ), which was a guilty pleasure if 
ever there was one. The game 
takes the once popular videogame 
sport and puts a contemporary 
twist on the formula with fully 
polygonal characters in a true 3D 
ring. A bit on the slow side. Power 
Move does boast some extremely 
smooth animation — the wrestlers 
even breathe — and a long list of 
“real” wrestling moves. Unlike its 
Japanese counterpart, which 
featured some of the more 
flamboyant wrestlers on the 
Japanese circuit, the U.S. Power 
Move doesn’t offer real wrestlers 
of any kind, which takes away from 


the overall personality of the game. 
All the generic wrestling personas 
are covered, such as the “death" 
character named Zombie and a 
“pretty boy” called Malibu Mike, 
but all are completely fictional. 

For those who don’t care 
about the authenticity of the 
characters. Power Move does a 
pretty good Job of taking the 
standard wrestling game of the 16- 
bit days and bringing it up to a 32- 
bit level. With multiple camera 
views, a lot of unique moves, and 
detailed polygonal characters, this 
game offers everything that a fan 
of the genre might hope for. There 
are some problems with the one- 
player game, which is a bit on the 
easy side, but the two-player triode 
really lets players take advantage 
of the game’s variety. 

Overall, the impact is 
somewhat less than what we’d 
hoped for from a U.S. port, but 
Power Move Wrestling is still a 
solid game and an enjoyable 
distraction. 

Rating: ★★★ 

Pro Pinball 

Publisher: Interplay 
Developer: Empire 

It’s impossible to cram the feeling 


of playing a life-size pinball 
machine into a tiny control pad, 
and most attempts to bring pinball 
to a television screen have been 
poor. While many developers have 
tried to wow gamers with multiple 
tables. Empire went the other way 
— giving the player one table, but 
doing it right. 

The sharp, pre-rendered table, 
called “The Web,” is graphically 
superb. The ball is appropriately 
shiny, and excellent light-sourcing 
adds realism to the flashers. The 
table design is rather nice as well, 
with three flippers and plenty of 
ramps and holes to shoot for. The 



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NEXT GENERATION February 1997 


rating playstation 


game has several optional views 
which offer only minor differences 
in perspective, but piayers always 
have a complete view of the table. 
As with most modern pinball 
machines, there’s a separate LED 
video screen on the backglass, 
which presents the player with 
standard chalienges, such as bonus 
jackpots and the always crazy 
multi-ball. The LED screen is also 
used for a flipper-controlled mini¬ 
game. 

While the visuals are 
impressive, the best part of Pro 
Pinball is its true physics. Unlike so 
many other pinbali wannabes. 



Rebel Assault 2 is Just like the 
original: lots of FMV shooting 
sequences and boring as hell 


one is a later level where players 
take an X-Wing up against a 
swarm of Tie Rghters, and with 


the game’s polygonai 
enhancements, it (like certain 
parts of the N64 game Shadows of 
the Empire) comes close to fooling 
you into thinking you’re actually 
playing a flight sim. But too many 
levels in which the player dodges 
FMV obstacles in a pre-determined 
flight path (some such levels don’t 
even require any shooting) make 
the game tedious at best. 

The soundtrack and audio 
effects are traditionally superb, 
with the same compeiling John 
Wiiliams music that never seems 
to get old. The actors who play 
the rebel pilots, however, are a 


truly sad lot, giving unconvincing 
performances in the cut scenes. 

While not completely terrible, 
the design of this series is archaic 
compared to what players expect 
of 32-bit gameplay. As a port of a 
not-so-great PC game, this title 
swayed a little toward the dark 
side from the start. Hopefully the 
Rebel Assault series will either 
evoive or die from this point on. 
Rating: ★★ 

Slam Scape 

Publisher: Viacom 
Developer: Viacom 

The perfect example of designers 


124 



Pro Pinball may only have one 
table, but K’s a pretty good table 


there’s never a second when the 
ball takes on any weird floating 
properties or does anything else to 
destroy the illusion of actuaily 
piaying the genuine article. 

Of course, the game does have 
some problems, including some 
cheesy voice samples. But if you 
can overlook the idea that playing 
pinball on a 32-bit game machine is 
kind of like using a Ferrari for a 
paperweight — yeah, it works 
reaily well, but what’s the point? — 
flipper connoisseurs will appreciate 
Pro Pinbalfs finer points. 

Rating: ★★★ 

Rebel Assault 2 

Publisher: LucasArts 
Developer: Factor 5 

The original Rebel Assault for 3D0 
wasn’t quite up to snuff as a PC 
port, and, as an FMV-based shooter 
on rails, wasn’t all that great to 
begin with. Now Rebel 2 appears 
as a PC port for PlayStation, and 
while it trades in the PC version’s 
digitized sprites for polygonai 
spacecraft, alas it’s still the same 
mundane game.. 

For those who played the 
original, the gameplay will seem 
nearly identical. Players again 
assume the role of rebel pilot 
Rookie One and continuousiy cross 
paths with the Empire in a variety 
of battles. While the game mainly 
provides a chase-view perspective, 
there are some levels, like the 
asteroid fieid and opening B-wing 
battle, that offer an optional 
cockpit view. The missions are 
varied in style and goals, but never 
seem to get interesting. The best 


PlayStation 


RELEGATED 



RFA ’97 

Publisher: Electronic Arts 
Developen Electronic Arts 

Every single version of FIFA has been the hands<lown best soccer game 
around — until now. FIFA '97 ignores its own respected tradition of fast, 
realistic game mechanics and instead offers poiygonal players and slow, 
boring play. Much like EA’s other recent sports tities, NBA Live '97 and 
NHL '97, FIFA '97 is the first time for the series to feature polygonal 
players, and out of the three only one, NHL '97, is even remoteiy 
successful. If you Just look at still screens, FIFA '97 does look amazing, 
with reaiistic uniforms and detailed players, but once the game starts 
moving, it all goes downhill. Worldwide Soccer '97 may have raised the 
bar for soccer games, but FIFA '97 can’t even compete with the original 
FIFA for 3DO, much less last year’s FIFA '96. 

What FIFA '97 does right is what EA Sports titles always do right: 
an incredible presentation, with a smooth front end, the players’ license, stats, ieagues, and more 
options than you’ll know what to do with. But once the players take the field, FIFA '97 falls apart. The 
most glaring problem is the pace, which is so siow players may need a good five minutes to run from one 
end of the pitch to the other. EA Sports probably wishes that was the only thing wrong with FIFA '97, but 
we can’t overlook the choppy 
frame rate, miserable ball 
physics, sloppy control, and 
the rest of the long list of 
the game’s manifold 
shortcomings. 

The simple, sad fact is 
FIFA '97 is the most 
disappointing EA Sports game 
in years. 

Rating: ★ 


Don’t let these nice looking 
screens fool you, HFA '97 
is not up to EA’s standards. 


Not only is the ball the size of a beach ball, it also bounces once and then stops, as opposed to rolling 
like a real one. Also, be glad for once these are still screens — the animation is pathetic 














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NEXT GENERATION February 1997 


rating playstation 


PlayStation 

SLAMMING THE COMPETITION 




In the Zone 2 


Developer: Konami 

Last year’s In the Zone was a 
disappointment. It looked 
gorgeous but lacked full rosters or 
even a season mode, and so little 
attention was given to defense it 
played like a highlight reel. This 
year — wow. 

In The Zone 2 gives the player 
complete control, offensively and 
defensively, over the most realistic 
looking NBA teams in videogame 
history. The polygon replicas of the 
NBA’s finest are nearly perfection, 
right down to Patrick Ewing’s knee 
pads and Horace Grant’s goggles. 

Even more impressive is the totally smooth motion. Watching a 
player perform a fade-away, three-pointer, lay-up, swat, or two- 
handed jam is a beautiful sight. In fact, if you step back and squint 
a little you’d swear you were watching a televised broadcast. 

ITZ2 is easily the best- 


The fade-away, the slam dunk, 
and all the motions in the game 
are things of beauty 


The Jordan in In The Zone 2 is the most like Mike of any videogame 
basketball sim, and man, can he can gat up high and put It down 


Get that stuff outta my face! ITZ2 
actually makes defense fun 


looking basketball game ever, but what makes the game so exceptional is the impeccable control. The 
player has more weapons at his disposal than ever before. The arsenal of offensive moves includes 
everything from hook shots to alley-oops to cross-over dribbles. Defensively, the game has been given a 
major overhaul: the steal, block, box-out, and even the way you plant your feet have been integrated 
perfectly into the gameplay. 

In The Zone 2 also adds a number of simulation features missing in last year’s effort. This time 
around, the game offers season, exhibition, and playoff modes along with full rosters, stat-tracking, set 
plays, trading players, and creating players. The latter enables fans to put superstars like Michael 
Jordan, Charles Barkley, and Shaquille O’Neal on the court — players who have their own licenses and 
rarely show up in an NBA videogame, but who are a must for any complete sim. 

/rZ2 still has a very arcade-style feel, and still has a tendency to look like a highlight reel, but with 
its intuitive control, sharp graphics, and deep gameplay, it’s the best basketball game on the planet. 
Rating: ★★★★★ 


mistaking a game engine for an 
actual game, Viacom/MTV’s Slam 
Scape is an amateurish attempt 
all around. The idea is simple: 
glide around in a wide open arena 
looking for hidden orbs while 
enemy creatures accidentally get 
in your way. Achieving this same 
goal level after level grows 
tiresome in a hurry because the 
arenas are generally bland and the 
enemies uninspired. Another 
testament to the general lack of 
ambition shown in the title’s 
development is the lack of 



Equipped with a prominent MTV 
license. Slam Scape has plenty 
of flashy extras but practically 
no substance 


options. This means no control 
over difficulty level, music volume, 
stage select, and so on. Instead 
of anything useful, the player is 
treated to three music videos 
from a band called God Lives 
Underwater. If you happen to be a 
fan of the band, it’s probably a 
nice extra, but gamers paying 
$50-plus for this "game" were 
likely hoping for a little more 
focus on traditional gameplay 
elements. 

Even with all the title’s 
shortcomings, it would still be 
untrue to say there’s nothing 
good at all in Slam Scape. In fact, 
the game does offer nice control 
and good-looking special effects, 
but real gamers know this just 
isn’t enough to carry a game. It’s 
exactly these occasional 
successes, in fact, that highlight 
what Slam Scape is missing: an 
overall commitment to quality and 
planning. What’s offered instead 
is a number of promising 
elements all thrown together in a 
slick, MTV-style package. 

Definitely not for hardcore 


gamers, this title is for those who 
don’t know any better. 

Rating: -k 

TNN Hardcore 4X4 

Publisher: ASC 
Developer: ASC 

Hardcore seemingly has all the 
right elements to make it an “A” 
title. There are five trucks to 
choose from, a variety of courses, 
three different play modes, severe 
weather, crisp graphics, real 
physics, and a good frame rate. 
Yet the game never makes an 
impression. Hardcore 4x4 is the 
quintessential "average” game. 

The highlight of the game is 
the the way the truck handles — 
it actually feels like you’re racing 
a 4x4. However, the races lack 
speed and excitement due in a 
large part to the narrow 
pathways your truck is confined 
to. They’re so narrow they even 
affect the outcome of the race; if 
you get in first place, you can 
block the path and never let 
anyone else get by. 

Besides the gameplay 



Hardcore 4x4 has the look, but 
not the feel of of^foad racing 


problems, it’s just plain annoying 
that an off-road racing game 
doesn’t actually allow you to go 
off-road. This should be the very 
essence of the game, yet here 
you are confined to the track. 
Hardcore 4x4 is the first of many 
4x4 racers that are 
popping up lately, and while the 
core game engine shows promise 
— and makes us interested in 
seeing what an improved 4x4 II 
might look like — in the end, it’s 
simply no better than average. 
Rating: k-k 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next.generatlon.com/ 


















BODY 
■Prokler II 
■DURiBILITT 530 
-Weight 2360 kg 


OPTIONAL 
EQUIPMENT I 
-Oxhi P5 Missile Ikterferekce DeticeI 
-Weight 340i!g I 


PlayStation 


[l 










































NEXT GENERATION February 1997 


rating satu 


Saturn 


Machinehead 

Publisher: Eidos 
Developer: Core 

Machinehead is an ambitious 
title and graphically among the 
best Saturn games available; 
however, the game’s lackluster 
control and level design mar 
what would have otherwise been 
an excellent title. Played 
from a first-person perspective, 
the game puts the player astride 
a flying bomb, which also 
happens to be equipped with the 
serious weapons, such as 
machine guns, missiles, flame 
throwers, and so on. At its 
heart, the game is a shooter 
(with multiple objectives), with 
missions that vary greatly in 
complexity and depth. 



Graphically, the game is 
stunning, easily boasting the best 
lighting effects seen on Saturn to 
date. The textures in it are much 
more high res than those in most 
in Saturn titles, and the 
transparency effects show none 
of the typical dithering usually 
associated with the alpha channel 
on Saturn. The techno soundtrack 
is also nicely executed, and the 
sound effects (especially those of 
missiles and explosions) are 
excellent and add greatly to the 
dark atmosphere of the game. 

The major problem lies with 
the sluggish and confusing 
control, which in general is not 
responsive. Also, the controller 
configurations available from the 
options menu leave a lot to be 
desired. Every button on the 
controller is used, and without 
the ability to completely 
customize the controller layout, it 
takes a long time to become 
proficient with it. 

Overall, the game has some 
high points and is an excellent 
title to show off Saturn’s graphics 
capabilities. However, the control 
could have been tweaked better, 
and it needs additional options. 

128 Rating: ir-kir 


rn 




Saturn 

RIGHT ON 


A variety of attacks (above) 
helps to open up the strategy 
potential of each match. The 
twoiriayer mode (right) is a 
bit cramped, but adds a lot to 
the lifespan of the game 


Virtual On 

Publisher: Sega 
Developer: Sega 

One of those games people either enjoy or don’t. 
Virtual On is loved by its fans and dismissed by 
others. Appearing first in the arcades, this state- 
of-the-art ’mech fighting game features several 
varied ’mechs with a variety of dazzling attacks. 
Set up very much like a traditional fighting game, 
each round pits the player 
against one opponent in a 
wide open arena. Each of 
the arenas actually 
features small differences 
in the form of 3D blocks, 
trees, or hills, but for most 
part they can each be 
described as a very large 

_ _ and flat battleground. The 

set-up facilitates the long 

range, projectile-based fighting that makes up most of the action in Virtual On, while also offering 
just enough variety to give the player an opportunity to develop sophisticated strategies. 

While fans of the arcade version will certainly be glad to see the game running at a very generous 
frame rate, with real 3D explosions and accurately recreated ’mechs and backgrounds, there are 
some control issues. Virtual On was simply not made to comply to the standard Saturn controller, and 
therefore is an uncomfortable fit on anything less than the dual-stick controller of the arcade. In an 
effort to battle this unfortunate situation, the game’s designers have offered a large number of 
controller configurations to try to suit everyone’s 
preferences. It is also possible to purchase an optional 
dual-stick controller made specifically for Saturn’s 
version of the game (an expensive solution, 
considering this is likely the only game that will ever 
use it), but after spending a few minutes with a 
standard controller, most players can get used to it. 

When consideringWrtua/ On for Saturn, it’s 
important to remember just a few things. Rrst, it’s a 
very nontraditional 
action/fighting game, 
which means it won’t 
instantly appeal to 
everyone. Second, 
those who do like this 
game tend to like it a 
lot, and for good 
reason. Third, the two- 
player game adds a 




Accurate depictions of the 'mechs and 
arenas, combined with ultra smooth 
gameplay make this one of the best arcade 
to Saturn conversions of any AM division 


Sega’s fast moving mech 
fighting game. Virtual On 
challenges players to learn 
a new gameplay formula 


tremendous amount of replay value. Rnally, this could very well be 
the most accurate arcade to Saturn translation yet, and if you’re an 
AM Division fan, that really means something. 

Rating: kc*** 


Blazing Dragons 

Publisher: Mindscape 
Developer: Crystal Dynamics 

This title was originally 
scheduled to be released around 
the time of PlayStation’s launch, 
but not until over a year later 
was the game finally complete. In 
that time, the developers have 
managed to put in over 40 wacky 
characters, 50 different scenes, 
several puzzles, and even some 
occasional humor. Terry Jones, of 
Monty Python fame, created the 



The voices of Terry Jones, 

Cheech Marin, and Harry Shearer 
almost make Biazing Dragons fun 


characters, and for the most part 
the game is enjoyable. Some of 
the highlights in Blazing Dragons 
are the voices of Cheech Marin 
and Harry Shearer of “The 
Simpsons." Beyond the good 
voice-acting. Blazing Dragons has 
a decent amount of puzzles, but 
the constant loading and slow 
play really don’t suit consoles. 
But, if it’s a graphic adventure 
you want, then Blazing Dragons 
is pretty much your only choice. 
Rating: ★★ 


Next Generation OnUne, httpV/www.next-^eneration.com/ 























A heart opened. 

Trust is the shiny jewel glistening 
brightly in the rock of friendship. 

Then, like any rock, it can be a powerful tool. 


A blunt object that can be hammered against your allies' 
unsuspecting, trusting skulls, against a monolithic church 
and warring noble houses, against all that stands between 
you and ultimate power as leader of the universe. 

Trust is indeed a shiny jewel. 

Emperor of tiiflyUJlS ^ 


A militaiy strategy game 







www.segasoft.com b 


^ i^l 

For a free Windows 95 demo or to order Emperor direct, call 1.888.SegaSoft ...Tw! BSlI 







NEXT GENERATION February 1997 


rating pc 


130 


PC 


PC 


TOON OUT 


Toonstruck 
Publisher: Virgin 
Developer: Burst 

Arriving amid the hype of one of the biggest pre-release media 
blitzes in recent memory, Virgin’s big “AA" PC game for 
Christmas — and the first product of the company’s much- 
vaunted new development studio Burst — is elaborate as all 
the brouhaha would suggest, but still a disappointment. 

We’ve seen live-action heroes caught up in a world of 
cartoon characters plenty of times before on the movie screen, 
but this is the first serious attempt to make the concept work in 
an interactive medium. Not to put too fine a point on it, the game 
wants to be the PC equivalent of Who Framed Roger Rabbit? It 
even has one of the movie’s principal actors, Christopher Lloyd, 
in the lead role here as a cartoonist (called Drew Blanc... 
geddit?) sucked into the world of his own creation. 

Accompanied by his wise-cracking cartoon chum Rux Wildly, 
Drew’s task is to save the land of Cutopia from an evil Count 
who wants to “malevolate” the landscape and rule forever in an 
evil genius kind of way. And so begins a point-and-click object¬ 
gathering, puzzle-solving adventure in the LucasArts and Sierra 
tradition. Drew interacts with characters, solves sub-games, and 
extricates himself from no end of cartoon-style perilous situations 
in order to free Cutopia and return to the real world. 

At the heart of Toonstruck there’s a lean, satisfying game; 
the problem is all the fat and gristle surrounding it. The 
designers have tried desperately hard to make the game zany, 
wacky, crazy, twisted, madcap, and side-splittingly hilarious — 
but it Just isn’t. The dialog, slapstick humor, and relentless 
"comedy” situations are tired and mostly ripped off from past 
and present cartoon creations. You’ve seen most of these Jokes 
before, and done better 40 years ago. 

You can’t fault Toonstrucl^s production quality — it looks 
worth every cent of the six million dollars it reportedly cost. But 
as Hollywood movie-makers know, without a decent script all the 
technical savvy in the world Is for nought. If Burst is going to 
continue in this vein, they’d be well advised to pick up a 
LucasArts adventure compilation for an object lesson in how to 
do interactive humor that can actually make you laugh. 

Rating: ★★★ 



A $6 million budget doesn't seem to have helped Toonstruck 
break any new ground in either game mechanics or concept — 
and worst of all, often K’s just not funny 


Bedlam 

Publisher: GT Interactive 
Developer: Mirage 
Technologies 

If you threw three heavily armed, 
building-sized remote assault 
tanks (RATS) into a city filled with 
dangerous, mutated monsters 
called Biomex, you might expect 
a little chaos. In fact, you’d be 
right. If you turned that into a 
game, it would be called Bedlam, 
GT’s new action title. 

Viewed from an isometric 
perspective, the action is fast and 
continuous. The graphics are a bit 
murky on the PC, but they are 
interesting, with admirable 
artwork, and it’s pretty odd 
walking around in the huge RATs, 
with tiny dead bodies scattered at 
your cybernetic feet. 

Prior to each mission, players 
spend earned credits arming and 
equipping the RATs. More money 
is earned for completing a 
mission, and by collecting the 
power-ups found on the map, 
which give shields, more ammo, 
and the like. Bedlam has an 
elegant, intuitive control system, 
reminiscent of Abuse, but it 
works even better with this 
game’s isometric view. Units are 
directed with the mouse, left- 
clicking to move, right-clicking to 
fire. It’s easy and it’s fast, 
something players will certainly 



appreciate during the game’s 
hectic firefights. 

But while the controls are 
easy, the missions are not. The 
game has numerous, sprawling 
levels which take many hours to 
complete, primarily because it 
forces players to stroll from one 
end of the map to the other looking 
for the activation fences which let 
them into new areas of the level. 
After a while, the monsters simply 
regenerate, forcing you to waste 
ammo to wipe them out again and 
again. Furthermore, actual 
gameplay becomes tiresome after 
a while — shoot the monsters, 
look for the end of the level, go to 
the next level, shoot some more 
monsters. However, in small doses 
it’s fun enough for long enough to 
be worth giving it a shot. 

Rating: ★★★ 


Monster Truck Madness 

Publisher: Microsoft 
Developer: Microsoft 

With as many games in 
development for Windows 95 as 
Microsoft has, it’s surprising that 
the one title that really seems to 
take full advantage of the 
operating system is none other 
than a monster truck game. 

Even without graphics 
acceleration, the frame rates 



You'll be bumpin' trucks in mid¬ 
air in Microsoft's Monster Truck 
Madness, starring such off-road 
talent as Bigfoot itself 


under Windows 95 are 
impressive. During the rally races, 
the feeling of speed and 
movement as you hit a Jump is 
undeniable. However, this is Just 
where the game falls a bit short: 
real world physics it ain’t got. In 
fact, at times the physical model 
Just doesn’t make sense. For 
example, at one point we 
watched a truck fly nearly 100 
feet through the air before hitting 
the ground on the other side of a 
hill. Don’t ask us to repeat it, but 
trust us, it happened. 

The game has numerous 
optional variables so it’s easy to 
customize it to suit Just about 
any skill level. The easiest 
settings are far too easy, but 
holding your truck in a sharp 
corner at the highest setting is 
quite a challenge. 

If you’re looking for a good, 
fun, simple racing game and you 
don’t mind some interspersed full- 
motion video of actual monster 
trucks — and a slightly out-of¬ 
touch sense of physical 
mechanics — then it’s definitely 
worth a look. 

Rating: ★★★★ 


NBA Full Court Press 

Publisher: Microsoft 
Developer: Microsoft 

There aren’t a whole lot of 
basketball games available for PCs 
nowadays. However, Microsoft's 
contribution to the narrow market 
hardly beats out the already strong 
presence of EA’s NBA Live '96. 
Although Microsoft carries off the 
NBA license suitably well, with full 
rosters of all the current players, 
the gameplay simply isn’t as 
precise, or even as fun as in other 
basketball titles. 

Take the view of the court. 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generatlon.com/ 


















NEXT GENERATION February 1997 


rating pc 


PC 



You can drive a jeep as well as fly an H/K In SkyNET. It 
takes some getting used to, but these vehicles cause a 
lot of damage (left). Missions take place Inside and 
outside. Don't get caught too close to this bot, or you’ll 
be hurt In the blast (above) 


Terminator: SkyNET 
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks 
Developer Bethesda Softworks 

About a year ago, Bethesda Softworks 
came out with Terminator: Future 
Shock. It was a revolutionary first- 
person shooter, using the mouse in 
combination with the keyboard for 
control. Although it didn’t receive 

much acclaim, it was ahead of its _ 

time in terms of control, size of the 

game maps, and pushing the style of the genre in a new direction. All it was missing was an SVGA mode and multi-player support. 

Well, guess what Terminator: SkyNET has. Using Bethesda’s revolutionary X-engine as its core, SkyNET takes Future Shock and adds 
new high-res SVGA graphics — you can even play Future Shock in high-res by installing SkyNET — and some incredible multiplayer options. 
Not only can you choose from four different characters in multi-player, but the death match maps aren’t simply level maps pulled from the 
single player game but are a completely different set built specifically around the idea of multiple people trying to kill one another. 

The sheer number of items to find and weapons to use rivals even Duke Nukem 3D. 
Single-player missions follow a storyline, which makes it almost feel like a roleplaying 
game. Each mission tells more of what's going on in the game world, and each mission 
could change drastically from the briefing (done in full- 
motion video with some really bad actors —will we 
ever get a chance to stop saying that?). The ability to 
drive a jeep and fly a Hunter Killer fighter (H/K) adds 
many new experiences to the game and makes the 
multiplayer games interesting, to say the least. 

As soon as you adjust to the interface and get 
used to using the mouse in combination with the 
keyboard, you won’t want to go back. The sheer 
beauty of the game, combined with the incredible 
amount of flexibility of the engine, means Terminator: 

SkyNET could be the best first-person shooter of the 
new year. You owe it to yourself to buy this one. 

Rating: ★★★★★ 


Briefings are done in fuii-motion video. This guy 
isn’t too bad (he piays John Connor) but the 
other actors are horribie 


H/Ks wiil fly overhead and naii 
you before you know what hit 
you. Keep your ears open 


PERFECT 


for instance. Sure, the locked 
view shows nearly the whole 
court at once, but it hardly gives 
an in-depth look at the action. 

The tiny players tend to group 
tightly together near the basket, 
which makes trying to set up any 
sort of coherent play difficult In 
the extreme. 

However, Microsoft has done a 
good Job animating the players. 



NBA Full Court Press tries to be 
a great basketbaii game, and 
ends up being oniy adequate 


Slam dunks, lay^Jps, and even 
three-pointers are modeled 
perfectly. The players may be a 
pixelated mess during the setup of 
a play, but executing moves is a 
smooth delight. With about 100 
predefined plays, there’s at least 
the opportunity to form strategy 
and build a win off the computer’s 
Al. Even the commentary, by the 
voice of Seattle Sonic Kevin 
Calabro, is entertaining and fits the 
action from moment to moment. 
But given that EA is soon to 
release NBA Live '97 for PC (and 
Win95), purchasing Fuil Court 
Press Just doesn’t make any sense. 
Rating: ** 

RAMA 

Publisher: Sierra 
Developer: Dynamix 

While all too /WysMike in design, 
Dynamix’s RAMA manages to push 
past some of the inherent confines 
of its genre and provide players 


with some fairly balanced puzzles 
and an decently entertaining 
storyline. RAMA is based on 
Arthur C. Clarke’s book of the 
same name and tells the story of 
an immense alien starship that 
has suddenly appeared in our solar 
system. As part of the RAMA 
team, the player’s mission is to 
explore the huge ship, which 
contains five distinctly unique 
cities and even a large, frozen 
cylindrical sea. 

There are quite a number of 
puzzles in RAMA, and while not 
terribly innovative, they do 
actually add to the storyline 
instead of Just being there to 
slow down the player’s progress. 
Learning alien number systems 
and defusing a nuclear bomb are 
but two of the challenges. 

With some wonderful alien 
designs, such as the high flying 
Avians, and an effectively moody 
musical score, the designers of 



Your Journoy through RAMA will 
Include mooting oxotic alions 


RAMA have tried hard to please. 

In all fairness, a few 
interesting puzzles and better than 
average quality FMV elevate the 
game slightly above many Myst 
clones. However, the lack of 
original gameplay (or even a good 
ending) will bore experienced 
gamers, and at the end of the day, 
it’s still Just a Myst clone. 

Rating: ★★ 


Next Generation OnUne, httpV/www.next-^eneratlon.com/ 



















And hey, 
it's netwotkable. 


You're sitting at your desk. And you're bored. Bored, bored, bored. Now irnagine you're sitting 
at your desk taking hairpin turns through dirt and mud. Massive bumps send you flying into orbit. 

And you better anticipate the next curve or you're gonna get to know the side of a mountain a little 
too well. Ahhh... there’s nothing quite like the off+oad racing experience of Sega Rally Championship 
for the PC. There's even head-to4iead network play. So, c'mon, you get a little time off for lunch- 
go find some buddies and Jet them eat your dust. 


Check out our demo at www.sega.com/segapc 

SEGA is registered in the U.S. Patent of Trademark Office, (pretty impressive, huh?). SEGA Entertainment, SEGA Rocing and Sego Rally Championship are trademarks of SEGA.©1996 SEGA, 
P.O. Box 8097, Redwood City, CA 94063. All rights reserved. Every single one of 'em. Order a gome by colling 1.888-SEGA4ALES (or just coll to soy 'hi,' our operators love thot). 










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Shattered Steel 

Publisher: Interplay 
Developer: BloWare 

Shattered Steel is a stripped down 
’mech Sim, along the lines of 
EarthSlege II or Mech Warrior 2, 
but without the complexity. It 
settles for pure action from the 
minute players climb into their 
giant robots and blast off for the 
planet Pixel. The controls are 
simpler than those of most ’mech 
games (which tend to be as 
elaborate as flight sims), although 
it still requires turret control, 
energy settings and has several 
weapons to watch, so the action 
isn't quite as brain dead as in a 
Doom clone. Overall, Shattered 
Steel is on about the same level of 
complexity as TIE Fighter, 
although in this case it’s played 



Shattered Steel from Interplay: 
not breaking any new ground, 
but not losing any either 


with a keyboard and mouse. 

The graphics are a cut above 
average, if you’ve got a machine 
that’s fast enough to run them. 
The textures on the alien robots 
are sharp, and the designers even 
used a form of voxel technology, 
similar to that found in 
NovaLogic’s sims, to render the 
terrain. But as in a lot of action 
titles, when you get close to the 
polygon creatures, legs disappear, 
things overlap, and it starts to 
look a little sloppy. 

Most of the missions are 
straight-ahead, shoot-’em-up 
romps without a lot of strategy, 
but there are plenty of missions 
to keep you busy. Weapons 
progress nicely from some 
piddling lasers to a tactical nuke. 
It supports modem and network 
play, and comes with 15 
multiplayer missions, so it’s solid 
on that end as well. 

Overall, Shattered Steel is a 
fun little arcade ’mech game, not 
breaking any new ground, but at 
least offering a simpler, less 
demanding version of the combat 
robot Sim, which should 
especially appeal to those of us 
who just like to blow things up. 
Rating: ★★★ 

Virtua Squad 

Publisher: Sega Entertainment 
Developer: Sega 

This is actually AM2’s Virtua Cop 
(the name was changed to avoid 


legal entanglements), and one of 
three AM2 games Sega is porting 
to PC. As ports go this isn’t bad, 
featuring the full game, plus the 
extra modes found in the Saturn 
version. It still boasts the same 
John Woo-style flying bodies, 
exploding barrels, and tightly 
constructed 3D levels. 

Unfortunately, it’s also less 
exciting. It’s noticeably slower on 
the majority of PCs than in the 
arcade or on Saturn, running at 
speed only on the most high-end 
Pentiums. Worse, played without 
a light gun using only the mouse, 
the game loses a major part of its 
appeal, effectively dropping to the 
level of other rail-based shooters 
like Rebel Assault 2 or Chaos 
Cor)trol. Plus, the single 
complaint that can be leveled at 
any version of the game remains 
true here: it’s really short — 
three levels and it’s over. 

Sega Entertainment got off 
to a good start with Virtua 
Fighter, one of the few 3D 
fighting games available for PC. 
Daytona USA also probably 
deserves to find a niche among 
PC racing titles, but Virtua Cop 
(or rather Squad — whatever) is 
out of its element. Sega should 
choose its future releases a bit 
more carefully. 

Rating: ★★ 


Macintosh 


Mumm^ Tomb 
of the Pharaoh 

Publisher: MacPIay 
Developer: Amazing Media 

In Mummy, Tomb of the Pharaoh, 
the player gets a chance to star 
in a classic B-movie adventure 
about vengeful Egyptian spirits, a 
greedy corporation, buried tombs, 
and a mysterious hieroglyphic 
box. As Michael Cameron, 
National Mining Company’s star 
trouble shooter, players need to 
uncover the truth about the 
Pharaoh’s tomb and get out alive. 

The setup has all the 
makings of a great adventure 
game, but if you’ve played 
Phantasmagoria or any other of 
the recent horror-based 
adventures, you’ve already played 
Mummy. Gameplay mostly 
consists of watching expository 
videos and solving the odd puzzle. 
The puzzles may present a 
challenge for the novice gamer, 
but experienced adventurers will 
cruise right through. 

As with most adventures of 
this type, you spend a 
considerable amount of time 
exploring different scenes, but 
the developers did manage to 
create some exciting moments, 
and the video quality is quite 








































































Mummy, Tomb of the Pharoah is yet another FMV-based graphic 
adventure — If you like this sort of thing, go for it 


good. Malcolm McDowell is the 
star name, and even though he 
seems to be popping up in more 
games than John “Multimedia 
Whore” Rhys Davies, at least he’s 
still entertaining to watch. 

There are times when 
Mummy shows potential, so It’s a 
shame It plays more like a 
retread than a genre-defining 
adventure. New adventurers and 
fans of classic horror might enjoy 
it, but others should definitely 
avoid the "Mummy." 

Rating ★★ 

Blackthorne 

Publisher: MacPIay 
Developer: Blizzard 

Jonesing for a new side scrolling 
adventure? Well, how about an 
old side-scrolling adventure? 
MacPIay has revived 
Blackthorne, a three-year-old, 
adrenaline-pumping action game 
from Blizzard Entertainment. 

You play Kyle Blackthorne, 
an exiled prince of an other- 



Blackthorne is still one of the 
better side-scrollers available 


worldly dimension. With your 
wits and a shotgun, you fight 
through level after level of traps, 
goblins, and mutant beasts. 
When not killing enemies, Kyle 
has to maneuver around 
waterfalls, past ledges, and 
through trap-laden corridors. 
Think of it as Prince of Persia 
with firearms. As an added 
bonus, there’s also an intriguing 
plotline hanging around behind 
all the action. 

Three years ago, a pair of 16- 
bit versions of Blackthorne used 
rotoscoped sprites, but Biizzard 
has improved the original model 


for this version by using 
prerendered, motion-captured 
sprites. Actually, this version is 
identical to an aborted version of 
Blackthorne slated for release on 
32X, but this time it’s been done 
right. Eerie music and highly 
detailed graphics heighten the 
dread and anticipation, while the 
animation is incredibly smooth 
and the control Is dead-on. 

Blackthorne was one of the 
better Flashback-sty\e games of 
its time, and if you’ve never 
played this kind of side scroller, 
you’re in for a real treat. At the 
very least, Blackthorne is one 
of the best — and only — action 
games to come out for the 
Macintosh in the last year. 
Rating: ★★★★ 


SORRY! 

No new games 
were made 
available for 
review this 
month on the 
following 
systems 




IFS AMAZING 

THAT YOU 
SURViViO 



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FIREPOWER 


COMPATIBLE WITH ALL SONY PUYSTATION GAMES 
t KONAMI’S LETHAL ENFORCERS I & 11^ 
t KONAMI’S CRYPT KILLER’** 
t DIE HARD TRILOGY’** 

• PROJECT HORNED OWL’** 
t AREA 51’** 
weight: 7 OUNCES 
RANGE: 5-7 FEET 

SIZE: 8 INCHES FROM NOSE TO BUTT 


THE LICENSED GUN FOR THE SONY PLAYSTATION. 


SMOOTH TRIGGER ACTION 


FIRM 


SPECiPiCATiONS 


mojECT HOONEO OWL 1$ a tradeinartt a( Sony Meractlve Enunanmenl Inc. O 199S Sony Compuler Enter 
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■ srlQameaCorporaaon ABrlQhBreaefveO DovBlopedbyMoMljogic. In 


AREA SI™ ©1996 At 

MlOWAY*learagi 9 t€._ 

JUSDFIEReara ragislarad Va 
traOamaiAa 0 ) Konaml Ca LU' 


PlaySttlion game Canada PlayStation and the PlayStation loc 


ayGamaeInc. Uaad by penniaalon. KonamAand 
3 . and CRYPT KILLER™ and LETHAL ENFORCERS 14 II™ are 
ed by Sony Ccmcuur Entenammeni Amartca lot uaa with the 


WWW.KONAMI.COM 































The world’s best, 
unofficial Nintendo 64 
Web site, brought to you 
by the world’s best 
gaming magazine. 






rating 


Next Generation gamers guide 


Every new "next-generation'' game, rated for your perusal 


n he following list is a round-up of all 
the final review scores given to next 
generation console games. Titles 
with the suffix (japan) are not available in the 
U.S. Happy hunting... 






Defcon S 
Descent 

Destruction Derby 
Discworld 


Interplay 

Psygnosis 

Psygnosis 


★ ★★★ 
★★★ 

★ ★★ 


Need for Speed 
NFL Full Contoa 
NFL CameDay 
NHL Face Off 


Konami 

Sony 

Sony 


★ ★★★ 
★★★★ 


Ttiui 

PUBLSHER 

NGRoms 

Die Hard Trilogy 

Fox 

*★★★ 

NHL Powerplay '96 

Virgin 

★ ★★★ 




Disruptor 

Universal 


Novastorm 

Psygnosis 

★ 

Nintendo 64 



Doom 

Williams 


OffWorld Interceptor Extr. 

Crystal Dynamics 

★★ 

Cruis'n USA 

Nintendo 

* 

Dragon Boll Z 

Bandai (Japan) 

★★ 

Olympic Soccer 

US Gold 

★★★ 

Killer Instinct Cold 

Nintendo 

★★★ 

ESPN Extreme Carnes 

Sony 

★ ★★ 

Olympic Summer Carnes 

US Gold 

★★★ 

Mortal Kombat Trilogy 

Williams 

★★★ 

Fade to Block 

Electronic Arts 

★★★* 

Panzer General 

SSI 

★★★★ 

Pilotwings 

Nintendo 

•k-kick 

FIFA Soccer 

EA Sports 

★ ★★★ 

Perfect Weapon 

ASC 

•k-k 

Shadows of the Empire 

Nintendo 

★ ★★ 

Final Doom 

Williams 


PGA Tour Invitational '96 

EA 

★ ★★ 

Shoji Chess 

Nintendo 

★ ★ 

The Final Round 

Konami 

★★ 

Philosoma 

Sony 

★★ 

Super Mark) 64 

Nintendo 


Formula 1 

Psygnosis 


PO'ed 

Accolade 

★★★ 

Waverace 64 

Nintendo 


Geom Cube 

American Technos 

★★ 

Power Baseball 

Konami (Japan) 

★ 




Gex 

Crystal Dynamics 

*** 

Power Serve 3D Tennis 

Ocean 

★★ 




Cool Storm 

Konami 

★★★★ 

Primal Rage 

Time-Warner 

★★ 

PlayStation 



Gridrunner 

Virgin 

★★★ 

Project Overkill 

Konami 

★★★ 

Adidas Power Soccer 

Psygnosis 


Gunner's Heaven 

MediaVision 

★ ★★★ 

Psychic Detective 

EA 

★ 

Agile Warrior 

Virgin 

★★ 

Cunship 

Microprose 

★★ 

Raiden Pmject 

Sony 

★* 

Air Combat 

Namco 

★★★ 

Hardball S 

Accolade 

★ * 

Rayman 

UbiSoft 


Alien Trilogy 

Acclaim 

★★★★ 

Hi Octane 

EA 

★★ 

Resident Evil 

Capcom 


Allied General 

SSI 

★★★★ 

The Hive 

Trimark 

★★ 

Resurrection: Rise 2 

Time-Warner 

★ 

Alone in the Dark 2 

Kokopell 

★ ★ 

Homed Owl 

Sony 


Return Fire 

Time Warner 

★★★★ 

Aquanaut's Holiday 

Sony 

★★ 

Impact Racing 

Acclaim 

*** 

Revolution X 

Acclaim 

★ 

Arc the Lad 

Sony 

★★ 

Intemabonal Track & Field 

Konami 

★★★★ 

Ridge Racer 

Namco 

★ ★★ 

Assault Rigs 

Sony 

★★ 

In the Hunt 

THQ 

★ 

Ridge Racer Revolution 

Namco 

★★★ 

A-Troin 

Maxis 

★★★ 

In the Zone 

Konami 


Road Rash 

EA 

★★ 

Boses Loaded 

Jaleco 

★ 

Iron & Blood 

Acclaim 

★★ 

Robo Pit 

THQ 


Battle Arena Toshinden 

PlayMates 

★★★ 

Johnny Bazookatone 

US Gold 

★★ 

Romance of 3 Kingdoms IV 

Koei 

★ ★★ 

Bottle Arena Tohshinden 2 

Sony 

★★★ 

Jumping Flash! 

Sony 

★★★★ 

Shellshock 

US Gold 

**★ 

Beyond the Beyond 

Sony 

★★ 

Jumping Flash 2 

Sony 

★★★★ 

Shockwave Assault 

EA Studios 

★★ 

Block Dawn 

Virgin 

★★★★ 

Jupiter Strike 

Acclaim 

★ 

Silverload 

VicTokai 

★ ★★★ 

Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain Activision 


Kileak the Blood 2 

Sony 

★ 

SimCity 2000 

Maxis 

★★★ 

Bogey Dead 6 

Sony 

★★★ 

lOeakThe DNA Imperative 

Sony 

★★ 

Skeleton Warriors 

Playmates 

★★★ 

Bottom of the Ninth 

Konami 

★★★★ 

Killing Zone 

Acclaim 

★ 

Slam 'n'Jam 

Crystal Dynamics 

★★★ 

Boxer's Road 

New Corp (Japan) 

★★★ 

King's Field (Japan) 

From Software 

★★ 

Soviet Strike 

EA 

★★★★ 

Broindead-13 

ReadySoft 

*★ 

King's Field 2 

Asciiware 

★★★★ 

Space Griffon 

Atius 

★ 

Bubble Bobble 

Acclaim 

★★★ 

King of Fighters '9S 

Sony 

★★ 

Space Hulk 

Electronic Arts 


Bust-A-Mwe 2 

Acclaim 

★★★★ 

Krazy Ivan 

Psygnosis 

★★★ 

Spot Goes to 

Virgin 

★ 

Casper 

Interplay 

★★★ 

Loaded 

Interplay 

★★★ 

Starbhde Alpha 

Namco 

* 

Chessmaster 3D 

Mindscape 

★★★★ 

Magk Carpet 

EA 

★★★ 

Starfighter 

Acclaim 

★★★ 

College Slam 

Acclaim 

★★ 

Madden '97 

EA 

★★★★ 

Star Gladiator 

Capcom 

★★★ 

Cosmic Race 

Neorex (Japan) 

★ 

Mobile Suit Cundam 

Bandai (Japan) 

** 

StarWinder 

Mindscape 

★★★ 

Crash Bandicoot 

Sony 

★★★ 

Mortal Kombat 3 

Williams 

*★ 

Steel Harbinger 

Mindscape 

★★★ 

Crime Crockers 

Sony (Japan) 

★ 

MotorToon Grand Prix 

Sony (Japan) 

★★ 

Street Fighter Alpha 

Capcom 

★★★ 

Critkom 

VicTokai 

★ 

Myst 

Psygnosis 

★★ 

Street Fighter.The Movie 

Capcom 

★★ 

Cyberia 

Interplay 

★★ 

Namco Museum, W. 1 

Namco 

★★★★ 

Street Racer 

UBI Soft 


CyberSled 

Namco 

■k-k 

Namco's Museum, VoL 2 

Namco 

★* 

Striker 

Acclaim 

★ 

Cyberspeed 

Mindscape 

★★ 

NASCAR Racing 

Sierra 

★★ 

Tecmo Super Bowl 

Tecmo 

★ 

Cyber War 

Coco Nuts 

★ 

NBA Jam TE 

Acclaim 

★★★★ 

Tecmo Worid Golf 

Tecmo 

★ 

0 

Acclaim 

★★★ 

NBA Shoot Out 

Sony 


Tekken 

Namco 

★★★★ 

Dark Stalkers 

Capcom 


NBA In the Zone 

Konami 

*★ 

Tekken2 

Namco 


Deception 

Tecmo 

★★★ 

NCAA Camebreaker 

Sony 

**** 

Tempest X 

Interplay 

★★★★ 


xt Generation OnUne, http://www.next.generation.cc 


NEXT GENERATION February 1997 









NEXT GENERATION February 1997 


rating 


TmjE 

PUBUSHBt 

NGRaimc 

Tetris Plus 

Jaleco 

★★★ 

Theme Park 

EA 

★★★ 

Thunderstrike 2 

US Gold 

★★★★ 

Time Commando 

Activision 

★★★ 

Tobol No. 1 

Sony 

*★★★ 

Tokyo Highway Batde 

Jaleco 

★★★ 

Top Cun: Fire at Will 

Spectrum Holobyte 

★★ 

Total Eclipse Turbo 

Crystal Dynamics 

★★ 

Triple Play '97 

EA Sports 

★★★★ 

Twisted Metal 

Sony 

★★★ 

Yiewpoint 

EA 

* 

VR Soccer 

Interplay 


V-Tennis 

Acclaim 

★★ 

Warhawk 

Sony 

★★★★ 

WipeOut 

Psygnosis 


Williams Arcade Great Hits Williams 

★★★★ 

Wing Commander III 

EA 

★ ★★ 

World Cup Golf 

US Gold 

★★★ 

Worms 

Ocean 

★★★★ 

WWF Wrestlemanio 

Acclaim 

★★★ 

X-Com UFO Defense 

Microprose 


Zero Divide 

Time Warner 

★★ 

loop 

Viacom 


Saturn 

Alien Trilogy 

Acclaim 

★ ★★★ 

Alone in the Dark 

T*HQ 

★★★ 

Astal 

Sega 

★★★ 

Baku Baku Animals 

Sega 

★★★★ 

Bases Loaded '96: 
DoubleHeader 

Jaleco 

* 

Bottle Arena Toshinden Remix Takara 


Batde Monsters 

NaxatSoft 

** 

Blackfre 

Sega 


Bubble Bobble wl 

Rainbow Islands 

Acclaim 

**★ 

Bug! 

Sega 

★★ 

Bust-a-Move 2:Arcade Ed. 

Acclaim 

★★★ 

Casper: The Movie 

Interplay 

★** 

Center Ring Boxing 

JVC 

★★ 

Clockwork Knight 

Sega 

★★ 

Clockwork Knight 2 

Sega 

★★★ 

College Slam 

Acclaim 

★★ 

Congo The Movie: 

The Lost City of Zinj 

Sega 

*★ 

Corpse K^: Graveyard Ed Digital Pictures 

★ 

Creature Shock Special Ed. 

Data East 

★ 

Criticom 

VicTokai 

★ 

Cyberia 

Interplay 

★★ 

Cyberspeed 

Mindscape 

★★ 

D 

Acclaim 

★★★ 

Darius Garden 

Acclaim 

★★ 

Dark Legends 

Data East 

** 

Daytona USA 

Sega 

★★★★ 

Daedalus 

Sega 

★★★ 

Decathlete 

Sega 

★★★★ 

Defcon S 

Data East 

★★★ 

Double Switch 

Digital Pictures 

*★ 

Earthworm Jim 2 

Playmates 

★★★ 

FIFA '96 

Electronic Arts 

★★★★★ 

Rghdng Vipers 

Sega 



Tm£ 

PueusHBt 

t4GR«nNS 

FI aollenge 

Virgin 

★★★ 

FI Live Information 

SegaOapan) 

★★★ 

Frank Thomas 

Big Hurt Baseball 

Acclaim 

★★★ 

Galactic Attack 

Acclaim 

★★★ 

Galaxy Fight 

Acclaim 

★★ 

Gex 

Crystal Dynamics 

★★★ 

Ghen War 

Sega 

★★★ 

Golden Axe:The Duel 

Sega 

★★ 

Gotha 

Sega 

★★★ 

Gran Chaser 

Sega 

★★★ 

Greatest 9Baseboll 

Sega (Japan) 

★★★★ 

Guardian 

Sega 


Gun Griffon 

Sega 


HangCn GP '95 

Sega 

★★★ 

HhOaane 

EA 

★* 

High Velocity 

Adus 

★★★ 

The Horde 

Crystal Dynamics 

★★ 

Impact Racing 

Acclaim 

★★ 

In the Hunt 

T*HQ 

★ 

Iron Storm 

Working Designs 

★★★★ 

Johnny Bazookatone 

US Gold 

★★ 

Krazy Ivon 

Sega 

★★ 

Last Gladiators 

Kaze Co 

★★★★ 

Legend of Oasis 

Sega 

★★★* 

Loaded 

Interplay 

★★★ 

Magk Carpet 

EA 

★★★★ 

Mansion of Hidden Souk 

Sega 

★★★ 

Minnesota Fas: Pool Legend Data East 

★ 

Mortal Kombat II 

Acclaim 

★★★ 

Myst 

SunSoft 

★★ 

NBA Action '96 

Sega 

★★ 

NBA Jam TE 

Acclaim 

★★★ 

The Need For Speed 

EA 

★★★★ 

NFL Quarterback Club '96 Acclaim 

★★ 

NFL Quarterback Club '97 

Acclaim 

★★★ 

NHL All-Star Hockey 

Sega 

★* 

NHL Powerphy '96 

Virgin 


Ntghs 

Sega 

★★★★★ 

Night Warriors: 

Dark Stalkers' Revenge 

Capcom 


Off-World Interceptor 

Crystal Dynamics 

★★★ 

Olympic Soccer 

U.S.Gold 

★★★ 

Panzer Dragoon 

Sega 

★★★★ 

Panzer Dragoon II Zwei 

Sega 

★ ★★★ 

Pebble Beach Golf Unks 

Sega 


Primal Rage 

TWI 

★★ 

Quarterback Attack 

Digital Pictures 

★★★ 

Quarterback Club '97 

Acclaim 

★★★ 

Rayman 

UbiSoft 

★★★ 

Revolution X 

Acclaim 

★ 

Righrd Saga 

Sega 


Rise 2: Resurrection 

Acclaim 

★ 

Road Rash 

EA 

★★ 

RobthPit 

Kokopelli 


Robotica 

Acclaim 

★ 

Romance of the Three 
Kingdoms IV:Woll of Fire 

Koei 

*** 

Saturn Bomberman 

Hudson 

*★★★ 

Sega Rally Championship 

Sega 

*★★★★ 

ShanghakTriple Threat 

Activision 



Tm£ _ Pimami _ NGRatnc 


Shellshock 

us Gold 

★★★ 

Shining Wadom 

Working Designs 

★★★ 

Shin Shinobi Den 

Sega 

★★★ 

Shockwave Assault 

EA 

★★ 

SimCity 2000 

Maxis 

★★★ 

Skeleton Warriors 

Playmates 

★★★ 

Slam 'N'Jam 96 

Crystal Dynamics 

★★★ 

Solar Eclipse 

Crystal Dynamics 

★★ 

Space HulkVengeance of 
the BhodAngek 

EA 

★★★ 

Star Fighter 

Acclaim 

★★ 

SteamGear Mash 

Takara 

★★ 

Street FighterThe Movie 

Acclaim 

★★★ 

Street Fighter Alpha 

Capcom 

★★★ 

Street Fighter Alpha II 

Capcom 

★★★★ 

Striker 

Acclaim 

★ 

Tama 

Tengen 

★★ 

Tetrk Plus 

Jaleco 

★★★ 

Theme Park 

EA 

★★★ 

3D Baseball 

Crystal Dynamics 

*★* 

Three Dirty Dwarves 

Sega 

★★★ 

Tnie Pinball 

Ocean 


Thunderstrike 2 

US Gold 

★★★★ 

Torko (Gekkamugenton- 
Torico in Japan) 

Sega 

★★★★ 

Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 Williams 

★★★ 

Vahro Valley Golf 

VicTokai 

★★ 

Virtual Hydiide 

Adus 

★★ 

Virtual Volleyball 

Imagineer 

★ 

Virtua Cop 

Sega 

★★★★ 

Virtua Fighter 

Sega 

★★★ 

Virtua Fighter Kids 

Sega 


Virtua Fighter Remix 

Sega 

***★ 

Virtua Fighter 2 

Sega 

★★★★★ 

Virtua Racing 

TimeVWmer 

★★★ 

Virtual Open Tennis 

Acclaim 

★★★ 

Wicked 18 

VicTokai 

★★★ 

Wing Arms 

Sega 

★★★ 

Winning Post 

Koei 

★★ 

Wipeout 

Sega 

★★★★ 

World Cup Golf Pro Edition US Gold 

★★★ 

World Series Baseball 

Sega 

*★★★ 

VWrId Series Baseball II 

Sega 

***** 

Worldwide Soccer 

Sega 

*** 

Worldwide Soccer 2 

Sega 

***** 

Worms 

Ocean 

★★★ 

WWF Wrestlemanio: 

The Arcade Game 

Acclaim 


X-Men: Children 
of the Atom 

Capcom 

★★★ 

For your information 

Here’s what the ratings signify; 


Revolutionary 


★ ★★★ Excellent 


★★★ Good 



★ ★ Average 



★ Bad 










"Waiting for Ml 
Tank Platoon’' 2? 
Stop waiting 
because iMlA2 
Abrams is here." 

—Computer Player 

iMlA2 Abrams: 
"One of the Year's 
Hottest Games." 

—PC Gamer 



/M1A2 

ABRAMS 



INTERACTIVE |W5 

magicEi 


© 1996 Interactive Magic 

PO Box 13491 

Research Triangle Park, NC 

27709 

To order direct, call toll free: 
800-298-0837 



In 1989 the ultimate tank game was Ml Tank Platoon® from MicroProse®. It 
was strategy, tactics, and action combined in one great simulation called "The 
Best Tank Game Ever!" by Computer Gaming World. 

Ml Tank Platoon was created by game designer extraordinaire, Arnold 
Hendrick, founder and chairman, "Wild Bill" Stealey, and the other dedicated 
professionals of MicroProse, Inc. 

Now, Arnold and "Wild Bill" are at it again — ready to deliver the next "Best 
Tank Game Ever" in /M1A2 ABRAMS from Interactive Magic. With more strat¬ 
egy, tactics, and action than before. Includes network and modem support for 
Head to Head or Cooperative combat for up to eight Players! 

Get all the details at www.tank.imagicgames.com. 


Ml Tank Platoon is a registered trademark of MicroProse, Inc. /1VI1A2 Abrams is a trademark of Interactive Magic. 
©1996 Interactive Magic. All rights reserved. Screen shots are based on an early version of the product, actual 
screen shots may vary. 





WE 

NEED 

TO 

TALK. 


Only one 
Web site 
gives you 
the whole 
Sega Saturn 
story. 


From the publishers of 

NEXT 



Part of the Imagine Games Network. 


http://www.saturnworld.com 





BEGIN TRANSMISSION 


a ■ ■ 



IT IS COniNG. GET READY- 


lE-13-Tb 
lfl:QD PST 


www-psxpower-com 

Part of the 

Imagine Games Network 

& 

www.imaginegames.com 





NEXT GENERATION February 1997 




talk! 



(continued from page 12) 

disk-based games; a little less than ten, right now.These 
projects include the system construction for Mario 
Paint, editing Sim City — and other similar titles — 
and, as I said earlier, I am working on the basic 
structure of self-growing games. 

This new project will be due for release sometime in 
1998, and it will be very unique, original and different. 

But because of that uniqueness most people are 
criticizing it saying that "This is not a game!" So 1 am 
kind of in trouble right now, whether or not what I am 
doing is right. 

NG; Can you tell us any more about this project? 

Mr. Miyamoto: I think it's important for us to have 
many ways to create games. We have the potential to 
offer a quantitative change with I\I64 hardware — not 
only by having more gorgeous titles with the same 
themes, but with many other applications. After all, 
what we are selling is a computer-like toy, and — as 
with ail toys — if you are to fully utilize its functions 
then it shouldn't be used for just one thing. I believe 
that N64 hardware was designed to offer a variety of 
ways for consumers to enjoy themselves. 

''Nintendo is in the 'plug and play’ 
entertainment business; there is a long way 
to go until online multiplayer games are the 
main focus of this market” 

NG: For the first time with N64, a home videogame 
system is perhaps powerful enough to support some 
kind of virtual reality. Is this a prospect that excites 
you, and would you support plans to introduce some 
kind of "VR" headset for N64? 

Mr. Miyamoto: If it's for some very short attraction — 
say within two minutes or so — then 1 think such 
headsets are OK, but personally I am concerned about 
possible hazards to the human body if people are 
expected to wear the headset for long periods of time. 

But because of the strong power of N64, it would 
be interesting to have some attraction for N64 — 
maybe we could show some kind of attraction with two 
disk drives.... 

NG: Are there any other accessories or peripherals that 
you would like to see introduced for N64? 

Mr. Miyamoto: Nintendo has been and is a toy 
company and manufacturer. We are now showing the 
"Jumping Pad" and it is enjoyable — but also very 
simple and very cheap, and this is important. I can't say 
that there are any concrete plans, but it's always an 
interesting idea for Nintendo to release some kind of 
toy-like peripheral for N64, as long as it is affordable 
enough for the general public. 

As for the VR-style headset that you mentioned, or 
anything like that, then sure, it is possible to release an 
affordable version, but the quality of headset that we 
would want to release would not be affordable. 

NG: In the U.S. right now the biggest new paradigm of 
gaming is the emergence of online gaming, sometimes 
with many hundreds of players playing at the same 
time. Is this something that excites you, and have you 
though about trying to design such a game yourself? 


1 143 


Next Generation Online, http://www.next generation.com/ 


NEXT GENERATION February 1997 




NEXT GENERATION February 1997 


talk! 




Mr. Miyamoto: In the long run, I would be interested in 
this. But Nintendo is in the mainstream, "plug and 
play" entertainment business and there is a long way to 
go until the online multiplayer games are the main 
focus of the business in this specific market — it's just 
too difficult for consumers to get started. Although 
nowadays many people are buying CD-ROM games, 
they're still complaining that they have to wait a lot of 
time between switching on their machines and then 
playing the game. There are also many other things 
which we have to go through before we can establish 
some sort of mainstream entertainment market. 

In Japan right now the miniature-type LCD Tetris 
games are making a huge market, and this is largely 
because they are very simple to play and when kids get 
tired of it, they can just throw it away -- they only cost 
$10.1 believe that this is the destiny of the videogame 
entertainment market, because if it is cheap, easy to 
try, and simple to play then people will tend to buy it. 


“My basic policy of making games is to create 
some kind of 'miniature garden’ — and this 
concept has remained the same with me” 


But if it is rather complicated and troublesome to start 
something new, then it will be a long time before it will 
become a mainstream entertainment market. 

So let me say that technically, I am interested in 


online gaming, but I am more interested in the 
videogame experience whereby four players can play 
the same game simultaneously in from of one TV set. 
NG: Are you satisfied with N64's power to handle this, 
say in Super Mario Kart 64? 

Mr. Miyamoto: I don't think that it's enough, but I 
think it's doing a fairly good job. 

NG: Are there plans to introduce a Satellite system for 
N64, similar to the one in place for Super NES? 

Mr. Miyamoto: Technically, it is OK.There is no reason 
why we couldn't send information via satellite to N64s. 
So if the disk drive system is sold then we can make 
some games applicable. 

NG: What can we expect from Super Mario 64 2? 

Mr. Miyamoto: [Laughs!. It may be cheaper, because it 
could be adapted for release on 64DD. But give me 
some time after I've finished with Zelda and I will think 
about Super Mario 64 2 some more! 

NG: Is Zelda 64 your number one priority right now? 
Mr. Miyamoto: I think that I'm putting the same 
priority on Zelda and StarFox. 

NG: What was your involvementwith SMI<4? 

Mr. Miyamoto: I was the producer, but we had a very 
good director for that game so it was kind of an easy 
job for me. The director sometimes consulted with me, 
but largely I, didn't have to do much. 

NG: Are you interested in making more original games, 
or are you happy to continue making 64-bit updates of 
8-bit and 16-bit Nintendo classics? 

Mr. Miyamoto: Well, you can tell that WaveRace 64 is 
a completely different game from the original 
GameBoy version. But yes, although we are sometimes 
opting to adapt old game titles, I am always looking for 
something very original. 

2D or not 2D? 

NG: Given that Nintendo 64 was designed primarily as 
a 3D game system, why the decision to make Yoshi's 
Island 64 a 2D game? 

Mr. Miyamoto: When we started software development 
for N64 we wanted to make a kind of "two and a half 
dimension" game, because this would be easier for the 
consumers to start playing with. Eventually we finally 
decided that this game would be Yoshi's Island 64. 

The original Yoshi's Island lor the Super NES used 
the FX chip because we wanted to do all sorts of things 
with the game, but still, there were many things we just 
couldn't do because of the limitations of the old 
hardware. So we really want to introduce these 
features — and realize our original concept — in a 
finished version of Yoshi's Island lor N64. 

3D graphics are fine, but for Yoshi's Island we 
really want to have more artistic graphics, so that the 
game is more like a moving picture, or something like 
that. And this means doing it in 2D. 

NG: So did you experience frustration with the artistic 
limitations of polygon 3D while developing SM64? 

Mr. Miyamoto: No, I'm not saying that. It's not a 
matter of the likes or dislikes of polygons. Polygons 
offer a kind of "solid" graphics, and if you like it that's 
alright, but texture-mapped graphics are always limited 
to set ways, and they will always look similar. 

But when it comes to 2D graphics, you can paint 
the original pictures that are used in the game a variety 


144 




PC CD POM 
WINDOWS 95^ 


@ PHILIPS 




NEXT GENERATION February 1997 


talk! 



of ways — you could use air-brush, 
you could use pencil, you could use 
chalk, or many other ways - you 
can paint the pictures in any way you 
like. 

As you can see in Yoshi's Island 
64 we have used what we call 
"cardboard art" — and it's only 
with a 2D game that we can have 
this kind of rich expression in the 
graphics. 

NG: Nintendo's rivals have released 
"two-and-a-half dimension" games 
— the most obvious are Crash 
Bandicoot and Nights. What do you 
think of them? 

Mr. Miyamoto: It may be one 
solution to the 3D game, and I think 
it may be easier for both consumers 
to play the game and maybe for 
game programmers to make their 
games in this way. But, with the 
games you mention, I think it is 
simply a matter of us and them aiming in different 
directions and having different goals. 


Personally speaking... 

NG: Just how hard do you work? 

Mr. Miyamoto: I never sleep! I Laughs I 

NG: Are you still as enthusiastic about making games 

as you were ten years ago? 

Mr. Miyamoto: I have become very lazy I smiles I. But I 
think that on my own terms, I am doing my best — 
although it may only take 80% of the energy that I 

“My new game project is very unique — and 
most people are criticizing it saying This is not 
a game!’ So I am kind of in trouble right now” 


was spending ten years ago. 

NG: Do you think that over the years you have become 
a better game creator? 

Mr. Miyamoto: Sometime I have to realize that I am 
merely repeating what I did ten years ago. 

NG: Do you think that games themselves have actually 
improved, or is it just that constantly improving 
graphics give the illusion that games are evolving? 

Mr. Miyamoto: In general, the games are making 
progress. It's hard to say. My basic policy of making 
games is to create some kind of "miniature garden" 
and this concept has remained the same with me. But 
despite how much technology improves, it will tiever 
catch up with my original concept. 

NG: Why do you think that Japanese game 
development for N64 is so far ahead of American and 
Japanese development right now? 

Mr. Miyamoto: Do you think that's the case? 

NG: Certainly there's a difference between Nintendo's 
own games and everyone else's. 

Mr. Miyamoto: That's because we are working very 
hard! I Smiles I 

We have many second-parties working around the 
world and I think they are technically very good. I think 


that if they learn to tune-up the final and minute points 
of their videogame programs, then they could become 
very, very good. Actually, when it comes to the levels of 
the Japanese engineers for 3D computer technologies, 
they are way behind that of American and European 
engineers. This is probably because the tools were 
completed by non-Japanese people and the N64 
development manuals were written in English and non- 
Japanese languages. But I think that within a year or 
so, Japanese 3D will be up to the standards of the rest 
of the world. 

NG: Do you think that Japanese - or maybe just 
Nintendo — game designers have different priorities? 
Mr. Miyamoto: I don't think so. It's not like the past 
when the most sophisticated and technically advanced 
games could only appear only on PCs I and hence 
typically in the U.S.and Europe I, nowadays the home 
consoles are just as powerful and the market is just as 
large, so there is not so much difference in priorities. 
NG: Thinking back to 1981 when you were completing 
the original Donkey Kong, did you have any idea that 
all this would happen? 

Mr. Miyamoto: No, I wasn't thinking about this - and 
I had no idea that all this would happen. It was 
unthinkable in those days that the computer graphics 
made by Silicon Graphics or Alias would be available 
for home use. 

NG: Nintendo has traditionally targeted kids as its 
main audience, and Nintendo 64 looks set to be no 
exception — you say yourself that Nintendo is a "toy 
company." So as you get older, are you finding it more 
difficult to stay in tune with what children want? 

Mr. Miyamoto: I don't think so, because I 

still want to buy toys! ^ — 



146 




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corresponding 


What’s on your mind? We’d like to know what you are thinking about. Where do you see the game 
industry going? What should we cover? Write to us at Next Generation Letters, 150 North Hill Drive, 
Brisbane, CA 94005. Fax us at (415) 468-4686. E-mail us at ngonline@imagine-inc.com 


I e t t e r s 


Letter Be 


was somewhat surprised 
to hear the masses 
criticize in unison 
Capcom’s Resident Evil for the 
voice acting clips in it, but Next 
Generation too (in NG 21)? 
Didn’t people ever stop to ask 
themselves if there might be a 
reason why these clips might be 
so noticeably bad? 

I’ll take a stab. It is foirly 
common knowledge that 
Capcom is a Japanese company, 



Realdent Evik what gives with 
the voice acting? 


and that Resident Evil was 
originally a Japanese game 
called BioHazard. Didn’t it ever 
occur to anyone that just 
maybe the English spoken in 
the game needed to be clear 
enough so that the original 
audience — native Japanese — 
could understand it? Or would 
everyone have preferred that 
Resident Evil have all voice clips 
acted out in naturally spoken 
Japanese? 

Joe Thomas 
benjamin@ritz.mordor.com 

Well, you definitely raise an 
interesting point OK, except 
that the English-speaking 
voicetrack was recorded 
exclusively for English-speaking 


countries.The original BioHazard 
had its own Japanese voice 
acting. So there’s really 
no excuse. 

□ ating to the early days 
of videogames, 
consoles used to come 
with two controllers and all 
the necessary TV hook-ups. 
The Atari 2600 came bundled 
with two joysticks, plus 
additional paddle controllers. 
Eight-bit systems such as the 
NES and Sega Master System 
came with two controllers. 
Even the 16-bit Super NES 
gave players two controllers, 
not to mention stereo AV 
plugs, and an RF switch. 

Now as we enter the 32- 
bit and 64-bit era, we as 
consumers are forced to buy 
everything separately. We are 
forced to buy a second 
controller to challenge a 
friend. We are forced to buy 
an RF switch if our televisions 
are a little old. We are even 
forced to buy a game because 
most game companies do not 
pack in titles anymore. 

Why are game companies 
getting greedy on peripherals 
that should be included in their 
game system packages anyway? 
When the Nintendo 128 
comes out, are we going to 
have to buy the power adapter 
separate this time? Or will 
“Core Unit’’ package soon 
mean that not even 
controllers, RF switches, AV 
cables, and games are inside 
the box? 

Michael J. Cabrera 
Spydirman@juno.com 

It kinda sucks, doesn’t it? And as 
price becomes evermore 



important to the hardware 
manufacturers, you can be sure 
that they’ll do whatever it takes 
to keep prices down. 

On the other hand, it does 
mean that gamers don’t have to 
pay for anything they don’t need 
(Super NES owners aren’t 
forced into buying a redundant 
set of s-video cables, for 
instance). But it also means that 
the real cost of a system setup 
may be much more than the 
initial $199. 

ne of the things I most 
respect about NG is 
how you treat 
videogames as art By doing 
this, a valuable characteristic of 
quality games has been given 
powerful voice — originality. I 
applaud your love of originality, 
but it does create a problem. 

In NG 23, the primary 
reason for Crash Bandicoot's 
three-star, ho-hum review was 
its subjective status as “the 
single most derivative game to 
ever hit a console.” I admire 
your stance, but with the march 
of time, old gamers get older, 
and new gamers buy new 
systems. Right now, a 12-year- 
old who has never owned a 
home console is probably 
playing Crash for the first time 
and loving it for competently 
executed characteristics, even 
though they may be far from 
pioneering. 

Keep up the way you treat 
games, but never fitil to see and 
openly acknowledge why the 
uninspired are there. 

Amos Parker 
aparker@moose.uvm.edu 

Your points are valid, except 
that Next Generation isn’t 


aimed at 12-year-old, first-time 
gamers, but to a more 
experienced, older audience. 
And it is our opinion that for 
Next Generation readers, 
gamers who have already 
played Sonic and Mario to 
death. Crash just doesn’t deliver 
enough that’s new. 

hate to be a language 
critic, but in NG 23, you 
did an article, “The 
Great Video game Swindle?” 

This was indeed a great 
article, but a noticeable error 
was definitely made. On page 
215, in the quote from Nolan 
Bushnell he says, “It didn’t take 
very long to figure out that I 
couldn’t possibly screw things 
up more then these guys did.” 

“Then” was used instead of 
the correct word “than.” 

“Then” refers to time and 
“than” refers to comparison. In 
this case, the word “than” 
should have been used. I could 
be wrong, the interviewer 
might be just directly quoting 
Nolan, and in that case Nolan 
would be wrong, but 
nevertheless, it was printed and 
it is a noticeable error. 

OdieS I @Juno.com 

Sorry. We’re really very, very — 
very — sorry. 

K, I’ve always loved all of 
Next Generation, but 
I was shocked (and 
pissed) to see that you 
rated Crash Bandicoot with three 
stars — because you compared 
it to Mario 64. That’s the first 
game you compared it to — you 
said “Unlike Mono 64, players 
aren’t free to roam just 
anywhere”. 


□ 



□ 


149 


N«xt Genaratkxi OnUna, http://www.next.generatlon.cotn/ 


NEXT GENERATION February 1997 















NEXT GENERATION February 1997 


corresponding 


Well, I can see that you 
don’t like that, but Crash 
Bandicoot is a next-generation 



Cras/i — is K <ood for the 
12-year-oM in aii of us? 


platform game, and Mario 64 is 
just a game of its own. You 
can’t compare them because 
they’re two different types of 
game. When you rate NBA '97, 
you’re not gonna say, “I didn’t 
like it because you can’t shoot 
off zombie heads like in 
Resident Evil," you will compare 
it to another basketball game. 
You guys tend to compare 
every game to the best game 
out, and good games get lower 
ratings because of that. 

modemkid@gate.net 

Hey, look, we’re not the only 
ones comparing Crash 
Bandicoot to Mono — Sony did 
exactly the same thing (what 
do you think all those Man-in¬ 
bandicoot-costume TV ads 
were all about?). And we think 
you’ll have a hard time 
convincing anyone that 
“comparing every game to the 
best game out’’ is a flawed 
policy. How else is anyone 
meant to get a frame of 
reference? 

n am amazed how people 
can come up with such 
wild theories for what 
Enos is! Thearrel W. 

McKinney’s Bible story was 
bizarre when the answer is so 
obvious! Enos is printed 
(E)nos in Sony’s adds. Look at 
(E)nos backwards: son(E). 
Son(e)? Sony? Get it? 

It’s so simple, and yet such a 
mystery. 

John A. Latcovichjr 
71170.3040@compuserve.com 


Next! 


n thought everyone knew 
that Enos is simply 
Son(e) spelled 

backwards. Son(e) Lives. Duh. 
s.curenaS 102@mercury.ef. 

dcccd.edu 

Next! 


nos — Enos 
backwards? SonE — 
“so-neee,” Sony — 
Sony Lives. Has this really been 
a mystery all this time? What 
do I win for solving the 
mystery of the gaming 
universe? 

Bob Nekic 
bnekic@woridnet.att.net 

Next! 



□ irst off, “Enos” is simply 
Sony spelled 
phonetically backwards. 
Result? “Sony Lives”. That will 
put that to rest 

Patrick Sarnowski 
sarnowsp@db.erau.edu 


Next! 


n was reading a letter in 
your latest issue (NG 
24) that implied that 
you (and your readers) still 
haven’t figured out Sony’s 
motto Enos lives. Surely this 
must be a mistake. I know you 
have played MK2. Remember 
Noob Saibot? “Boon” and 
“Tobias” backwards — so 
try Enos bassackwards. SonE 
lives. “Son-E,” i.e. Sony 
spelled phonetically. No 
prob, mystery solved. 

Robert Buchanan 
rbuchanan@inter-linc.com 

So, is that finally it? Are we all 
agreed? Evidently not.. 

fter my last letter (NG 
23) responding to 
Thearrel W. McKinney 
jr.’s theory about Sony’s “Enos 
lives” campaign (NG 20), 
pointing out something that was 
wrong with his theory, it got me 
thinking: What does “Enos 
Lives” mean? 

Here’s my theory: I believe 
“Enos” is Sony, spelled 



backwards. Sure, there’s an 
“E”, not a “Y”. But keep 
reading. Don’t you think it 
would have been a little too 
easy to figure out if their ad 
campaign said Ynos lives? If 
you follow the “phonic rule”: 
“A lone vowel followed by a 
single consonant and a single 
‘e’ says its name.” Enos spelled 
backwards would be sone 
(remember, the “O” says its 
name). And if you reverse 
“Enos”, you get sonE. Or, 
son“E”. Do you see what I’m 
getting at? So “Enos lives” 
could refer to the “birth” of 
the Sony PlayStation. Implying 
that Sony (sonE) “lives” in 
the “world” of console 
videogame systems. 

There’s also the theory 
that “Enos lives” doesn’t mean 
anything! Maybe someone in 
the advertising department at 
Sony suggested the slogan 
because he/she saw an old 
movie where one of the 
characters said “Enos lives!” 

XbandEG 15@aol.com 

Next, please. 

O ometime last winter I 
stumbled upon the 
answer to the Enos 
puzzle. When the first wave of 
PlayStation ads was released, 
the phrase “Enos Lives” was 
used, along with the slogan 
“You are not ready.” An 
alternate manifestation of the 
slogan was “You are not E” , 
with the E being in red type 
(red-e). Read the last two 
words. Not E. The E in Enos 
isn’t an E at all. 

It’s probably reasonable to 
assume that the letter before 
“nos” is a vowel since 
otherwise it would be 
relatively unpronounceable. 

The vowels are A, E, I, O, U, 
and sometimes Y. So if it’s “not 
E,” why not use the Y? Enos 
becomes Ynos, or Sony 
backward. 

To corroborate my theory, 
the pronunciation of Enos is 
Sony backward also. 

Tom Kiesel 
tkiesel@kensco.net 

Ooh, there’s an additional twist. 


Next! 

□ egarding 

XbandEG 15@aol. corn’s 
letter in NG 23 which 
responds to Thearrel W. 
McKinney Jr.’s letter back in NG 
20 (what a mouthful), Enosh 
with an h is actually the Hebrew 
spelling of Enos, which is the 
Greek. Webster’s New World 
Dictionary Second College 
Edition defines Enos, “E-nos 
(that’s suppose to be an upside 
down ‘e’) [Gr. Enos < Heb. 
Enosh, lit, man] I. A masculine 
name, 2. Bible a son of Seth: 

Gen. 4:26.” So McKinney’s 
theory might still be correct if 
the people at Sony were going 
with the Greek spelling of Enos. 

Duane Crowe 
crowe@io.org 

There’s another. Next! 


n ust to end the argument 
enos should be read 
“Red e, N,0,S.” or 
“Ready N.O.S.” which stands for 
“Ready Ninth of September,” the 
U.S. release date of PlayStation 
back in 1995. I won a T-shirt at 
a convention from the official 
Sony booth for answering that 
question correctly. If you don’t 
believe me, call Sony. 

Steve Bowler 
monolithgrp@earthlink.net 

We did. He’s right End of 
argument. We are never, never 
— never — going to print 
anything on this stupid subject 
again. Probably. 

was reading your mag 
the other day when I 
came upon the letter 
from Timothy Wojnar accusing 
you for using a cheap imitation 
asteroids screen shot Definitely 
sacrilege! Anyway, I know where 
that screen shot is from (you 
should be shaking in horror right 
now!). That version of Asteroids 
is one of the cheesy samples that 
come with Borland Turbo C++ 
4.5, how dare you! 

Albert Mao 
mao@erols.com 



Well then, you better not 
look at the next page! 




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'U/ 


\/l 


Why are more and more gamers \ / | 

evangelizing "retro" gaming? I— 

Why, in the midst of so many technological leaps forward, 
are more and more gamers demanding that gameplay take a step backwards? 
Is all this just dewey-eyed nostalgia? Or has gaming really forgotten its 
roots? Next month, Next Generation investigates... 


U / 


r'J #27 

\ I / on sale February 11, 1997. 

'i^' I . / Smart readers have already subscribed. To find out how you too can save money 
and guarantee your copy, turn to the insert between pages 32 and 33. 


NEXT GENERATION February 1997 












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